Good quizbowl is a designation which refers to those quizbowl conventions, questions, and tournaments that reward teams for demonstrating differing levels of academic knowledge held in a fair and consistent manner.
- Questions that primarily reward knowledge of a topic over buzzer speed, as exemplified by tossups that contain many clues arranged in rough order from most obscure to least obscure (pyramidality) and bonuses/team rounds that contain "easy", "medium", and "hard" parts.
- Tossups and bonus parts whose clues uniquely point to their desired answer or (in the case of multiple-answer bonus parts, common links, or "name's the same" tossups) set of answers.
- A range of topics from subjects people should and do know much about to subjects that are not as well-known but nevertheless important (the collective set of these subjects is called the canon).
- A distribution of questions that primarily emphasizes the academic nature of quizbowl and eschews spelling, "excess" general knowledge or trash, and other "fluff".
Though use of the tossup-bonus format is not essential to good quizbowl, an overwhelming majority of good quizbowl tournaments use that format.
Proponents of good quizbowl sometimes divide into game-oriented good quizbowl, which states that the primary purpose of each game is to fairly differentiate which of the two opposing teams is better, and learning-oriented good quizbowl, which states that quizbowl should be primarily a meditative, cerebral experience that allows players to learn, both in breadth and in depth, about subjects which one may have some or no familiarity by reading, writing, and playing questions.