Tournament of Champions

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The Tournament of Champions was a high school national run by the American Scholastic Competition Network from 1987 to an ignominious end after the 2005 event. The format of the games was four-quarter, and the tournament consisted of playing prelim games until all but a certain number of teams had three losses, at which point the remaining teams were seeded into a single-elimination bracket to determine the champion.

The name derives from the unique qualification procedure for the TOC, which required teams to be the outright winner of at least one tournament of eight teams or more during the competition year.

From 1995 to 1997, the tournament prizes were sponsored by the computer manufacturer Gateway 2000, and the tournament was named the "Gateway 2000 Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions."

The TOC was held in the Chicago area throughout its existence: at Lake Forest College from 1987 until 2001, and at various hotels from 2002 to 2005. At least in their later years, teams were required to stay at the officially designated hotel. Thus, few teams in the Chicago area ever attended, because most schools could not justify the enormous expenditure of staying at a hotel, when it was more logical to simply stay at home and travel to the tournament locale on a daily basis.

The 2006 TOC was cancelled at the last minute, but many teams did not receive refunds of their entry fees, and several teams even arrived in Chicago without being aware that there was no tournament. As of 2007 the Sioux City, IA police department is pursuing fraud charges against Gary Lipshutz, the proprietor of ASCN, over the matter of the entry fees.

ASCN was often viewed as a tournament with all the quizbowl shortcomings of the National Academic Championship, but without the ethical baggage; many teams who preferred lower-quality tournaments but did not wish to deal with Chip Beall attended ASCN exclusively as their national of choice. Obviously, notions of ethical superiority were belied by the events of 2006.

Top four at Tournament of Champions

Year Champion Second Third Fourth Location
1987 Carolina Norfolk Senior Marshall County Escambia Lake Forest College
1988 Savannah Sioux City East Georgetown Day Millburn Lake Forest College
1989 Georgetown Day School Irmo Sioux City East Marshall County Lake Forest College
1990 Eisenhower Walton Irmo Detroit Catholic Central Lake Forest College
1991 Seaholm Dorman Georgetown Day James Island Lake Forest College
1992 Tuscaloosa Central Georgetown Day Irmo Walton Lake Forest College
1993 Northside Henry Ford II Irmo Dorman Lake Forest College
1994 James Island Brookwood Westminster Stevenson Lake Forest College
1995 Edmond Memorial James Island Brookwood Savannah Lake Forest College
1996 Edmond Memorial Thomas Jefferson James Island Dorman Lake Forest College
1997 Walter Johnson Auburn Henry Ford II Woodward Lake Forest College
1998 James Island Brookwood Irmo Dorman Lake Forest College
1999 James Island Copley Woodham Henry Ford II Lake Forest College
2000 Eisenhower Walter Johnson Brookwood James Island Lake Forest College
2001 Northside Brookwood Cookeville Riverdale Lake Forest College
2002 Irmo Dorman James Island Northside Chicago area
2003 Dorman Walton Spotswood Edmond Memorial Chicago area
2004 Dorman James Island Copley Spotswood Chicago area
2005 Dorman James Island Walton Spotswood Chicago area