Difference between revisions of "HSNCT"

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! Championships
! Championships
! Finals Appearances (Top 2)
! Finals Appearances (Top 2)
! Trophies (Top 3)
! Top 3
! Leaderboards (Top 4)
! Top 4
| [[Bellarmine]]
| [[Bellarmine]]

Revision as of 15:39, 19 March 2015

The High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) is a premier national tournament run by NAQT every May, typically over Memorial Day weekend. The tournament is a two-day affair, with preliminary rounds Saturday and playoff rounds Sunday. There are also optional scrimmage rounds on the Friday before.

The HSNCT currently draws the largest field of any national tournament. In 2014 it attracted 272 high school teams from 213 different schools. The most common way to qualify for the HSNCT is to finish in the top 15% at a tournament using NAQT questions during the season, though there are alternative ways listed on the NAQT HSNCT website.

Match Format

Since 2013, the HSNCT tournament set has contained 27 packets, each of 24 tossups and 24 bonuses. The first two HSNCTs used NAQT's second-generation format of 28 tossups and 26 bonuses, with the possibility of tossups being read for tossup points only and no bonus potential if the end of the packet was reached. From 2001 to 2010, the packets had 26 tossups and 26 bonuses each.

Its distribution can be found here. Matches use nine-minute halves, so it is common for a match to not get through all of the tossups in a packet. When the timer goes off, moderators finish the question they are reading, and if that question is a tossup that gets answered they read the associated bonus; this was a rule change that began with the 2009 HSNCT as part of an all-level alteration in NAQT clock rules. Through 2008, the expiration of time in a half would remove the opportunity to buzz in if a tossup was being read and no buzz had yet occurred.

The 2009 HSNCT was the last to use math calculation tossups; since 2010, these have been removed from the distribution. Every HSNCT packet now contains exactly one math calculation bonus, and all packets contain conceptual math questions as well.

Tournament Format

The 1999 and 2002 tournaments used swiss-pair prelims followed by a round-robin playoff bracket. The 2000 and 2001 tournaments used pre-scheduled prelims followed by the double-elim playoffs. The current tournament format has remained unchanged in its broad strokes since 2003:

On Saturday, the first day of competition, each team plays ten matches. There are fifteen or sixteen rounds, so each team gets five or six byes. HSNCT uses power-matching; each team is guaranteed to play each of its matches against opponents that have a record within one win of its own record. (In other words, if your current record is 3-5, then your next opponent will be 4-4, 3-5, or 2-6.) Teams need to win at least six of their ten matches to continue play on Sunday.

On Sunday, teams that won six matches on Saturday are eliminated by their first Sunday loss, and teams that won seven or more matches on Saturday are eliminated by their second Sunday loss. With a few exceptions, teams on the verge of elimination play each other, while teams that still have one match to lose also play each other. Play continues until all teams but one are eliminated, and the rest of the final standings in the tournament are based on which teams last the longest on Sunday before being eliminated.

From 2001 to 2013, the HSNCT also recognized a Small School Champion. Schools fitting the criteria played as part of the regular tournament Saturday and Sunday. After they were eliminated from the regular tournament, they played in a separate set of playoff rounds that determined the Small School Champion. As of the 2014 HSNCT the Small School Champion will instead be decided at a separate event.

Select matches from the HSNCT from 2005 to 2009 are recorded and appear on the 9 Minutes podcast or the NAQT HSNCT website. In 2011 and 2012 some rounds were posted to iHigh.com.


Year Champion Second Third Fourth Small School Champion Location Field Size
1999 Detroit Catholic Central Walton Brookwood A Edmond Memorial, North Kansas City,
& Edmond Santa Fe
not awarded Norman, OK 26
2000 State College A Governor's School A Eleanor Roosevelt Eisenhower not awarded Atlanta, GA 52
2001 Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Country Day State College A Riverdale not awarded Ann Arbor, MI 40
2002 St. John's Irmo Detroit Catholic Central Detroit Country Day Kent City Austin, TX 54
2003 Thomas Jefferson Dorman St. John's Walton Cutter Morning Star Myrtle Beach, SC 62
2004 Thomas Jefferson Maggie Walker St. John's Detroit Catholic Central Cutter Morning Star Houston, TX 64
2005 Thomas Jefferson Lakeside State College Solon Danville Chicago, IL 96
2006 Richard Montgomery State College Maggie Walker Detroit Catholic Central Danville Chicago, IL 128
2007 Maggie Walker State College Thomas Jefferson Dorman Danville Chicago, IL 160
2008 Thomas Jefferson Wilmington Charter Walt Whitman Dorman B Russell Chicago, IL 176
2009 Wilmington Charter Dorman A State College A Detroit Catholic Central Ottawa Hills Chicago, IL 192
2010 Maggie Walker State College A LASA A Bellarmine A South Range Chicago, IL 200
2011 State College A LASA A Bellarmine A Stevenson George Mason Atlanta, GA 224
2012 Bellarmine A Detroit Catholic Central A LASA A Centennial Beachwood Atlanta, GA 240
2013 LASA A Ladue A Loyola St. John's Macomb Atlanta, GA 256
2014 LASA A St. John's LASA B Ladue A not awarded Chicago, IL 272
2015 not awarded Chicago, IL 272
  • †undefeated


  • The formats used since 2000 do not allow for fourth-place ties, though the 1999 format did and produced a three-way tie noted above.
  • The small school champion was named beginning in 2002, through a process of tangent playoffs at the HSNCT that lasted until 2013. Beginning in 2014, the NAQT small school winner is named at the SSNCT and is no longer formally recognized at HSNCT.

Medal count

Team Championships Finals Appearances (Top 2) Top 3 Top 4
Bellarmine 1 1 2 3
Brookwood 0 0 1 1
Centennial 0 0 0 1
Detroit Catholic Central 2 3 4 7
Detroit Country Day 0 1 2 2
Dorman 0 2 2 4
Edmond Memorial 0 0 0 1
Edmond Santa Fe 0 0 0 1
Eisenhower 0 0 0 1
Eleanor Roosevelt 0 0 1 1
Irmo 0 1 1 1
Ladue 0 1 1 2
Lakeside (WA) 0 1 1 1
LASA 2 3 6 6
Loyola 0 0 1 1
Maggie Walker 2 4 5 5
North Kansas City 0 0 0 1
Richard Montgomery 1 1 1 1
Riverdale 0 0 0 1
Solon 0 0 0 1
State College 2 5 8 8
Stevenson 0 0 0 1
St. John's 1 2 4 5
Thomas Jefferson 4 4 5 5
Walton 0 1 1 2
Walt Whitman 0 0 1 1
Wilmington Charter 1 2 2 2


See also

  • PACE NSC, another high school national tournament
  • NAC, high school "nationals" of inferior quality