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The Earlybird is a high school tournament hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In its history, it has been a house-write, used HSAPQ questions, and used questions from the second edition of DAFT. According to the best records available, it started in 2002, skipped a year, and then became an annual event. It often occurs in October, though the 2002 event was held November 3.

Illinois hosted a fall tournament in 1995 directed by Martin Stroup. MacArthur defeated Quincy for the Championship, and Latin defeated Niantic-Harristown for Third Place. However, that tournament is more of a forerunner of the IHSSBCA Kickoff than Earlybird.

In addition to the Earlybird hosted by the Illinois Academic Buzzer Team, an honors group called the Phi Scholars used to host a tournament on campus. Earlybird has generally followed mACF format, while Phi Scholars followed IHSA format.


Year Stats # of Teams Champion Second Third Fourth Set Used
2002 - 8 Detroit Catholic Central Benton (AR) Loyola Fairfield Housewritten
2004 - 8 Loyola A Apollo (KY) MacArthur Culver Academies Housewritten
2005 - 13 Auburn A Apollo Bloomington Loyola A Housewritten
2006 - 15 Carbondale Maine South Bloomington A New Trier Housewritten
2007 - 9 Detroit Catholic Central A North Kansas City New Trier Auburn Housewritten
2008 Overall 16 New Trier Auburn A Carbondale A Loyola A HSAPQ Set 1
2009 Prelims Playoffs 14 Loyola A Detroit Catholic Central A Carbondale Detroit Catholic Central B HSAPQ Set 8
2010 Overall 18 Stevenson A Detroit Catholic Central A Loyola A Detroit Catholic Central B DAFT
2011 Overall 24 IMSA A Loyola A Auburn A Carbondale A OLEFIN
2012 Overall 18 Dunbar Carbondale A Bloomington A Wheaton North A MSU/UD
2013 Overall 21 Stevenson IMSA A Bloomington A Auburn A BISB
2014 Overall 24 IMSA A Auburn Bloomington A UChi Lab BISB
2016 Overall 14 Barrington University of Illinois Lab Homewood-Flossmoor A Carbondale NAQT IS-156