Four-quarter format is the general term for quizbowl that is broken up into several phases with differing styles of gameplay. Usually broken into, as the name implies, four quarters, the differing individual formats vary but may include worksheets, lightning rounds, give-and-takes, and tossups (pyramidal and/or otherwise) with or without accompanying bonuses.
Four-quarter format was the predominant style of high school quizbowl in the 1990s prior to the growth in popularity of NAQT and other college quizbowl influences. Despite the expansion of the 20/20 tossup-bonus style, four-quarter format is still used and prevelant in many southern tournaments as well as the NAC of Questions Unlimited. According to the Questions Unlimited website, QU holds a copyright for the four-quarter format.
The most common four-quarter format
Believed to be popular at Southern tournaments, please correct as applicable:
- First quarter: A phase of ten short-answer tossups.
- Second quarter: A phase of five tossups with two-part bonuses that bounce back after each part.
- Third quarter: A lightning round, category round, worksheet round or give-and-take round.
- Fourth quarter: A phase of anywhere from four to ten pyramidal tossups.