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Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
New PACE logo.png
President or CEO Mia McGill
Location: Bellevue, WA
Status Active

PACE, or the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 that helps to promote and provide a network for high school tournaments throughout the country.

Since 1998, PACE's main task has been the writing and organization of the National Scholastic Championship (NSC), a championship tournament for high school teams. PACE also sponsors the Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award, Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award, Morgan Costa-Rhodes Memorial Scholarship, and David Riley Coaches Conference. Any organization or person engaged in quizbowl outreach can apply for money from the PACE Outreach Fund. The PACE website contains a series of articles collectively known as Quizbowl 101.


PACE was founded in fall 1996 in response to a Usenet post by Samer Ismail announcing the "National Association of College-Organized Tournaments" (name was soon changed) with the initial stated goals of providing a national high school tournament that reflected the personnel and format of collegiate quizbowl, raising the number of high school tournaments hosted by college clubs, and improving communication among college-run high school tournaments. There should probably be more said here about PACE's history, especially outside of incident-by-incident recaps of the NSC itself.

Game Format

PACE's game format from the 2010 NSC forward is essentially a mACF format. Matches consist of 20 tossups and 20 bonuses per round, with 20 point powers but no negs on tossups; each bonus has three parts worth 10 points each, with bouncebacks on the bonuses. For a description of the old PACE format, which was used from 1998 until 2009, see Old PACE format.


Official individual and team performance records from past NSCs are publicly posted and archived on the PACE website.


Every year, PACE and its affiliates write, edit, and run the National Scholastic Championship in late May or early June.

Teams qualify for the NSC by finishing in the top 10 percent of the field at any tournament during the year. Tournaments with especially strong dedication to "good quizbowl" principles can receive "gold" or "platinum" certification from PACE in advance; "gold"-certified tournaments allow the top 20 percent of the field to qualify, and "platinum"-certified tournaments allow the top 25 percent of their field to qualify.

PACE has also supported the Quizbowl Resource Center and encourages the development of technological tools to enhance preparation for academic competitive play. Then PACE member Jeffrey Hill developed the Quizbowl Resource Database.

Discontinued events

  • In 2007 and 2008, PACE members wrote and hosted regional Late Season Qualifiers in the old PACE format.
  • PACE ran the 2009 Weekend of Quizbowl.
  • In 2007, PACE members led by E. T. Chuck ran a Question Writers Bootcamp at Gonzaga High School in DC. The event was discontinued thereafter.


Members of PACE commit themselves to helping run the NSC and serving as leaders in their local quizbowl circuits. An up-to-date public list of current and former members, including PACE board members, is maintained here.


A complete listing of the holders of the nine executive board positions in PACE may be found at PACE's website.

PACE reorganized on a more formal basis prior to the 2009-2010 academic year; the below positions may have changed their actual title several times prior to that.

Year of NSC President NSC Tournament Director NSC Set Editor
1998 Emil Thomas Chuck Samer Ismail Samer Ismail
2000 Emil Thomas Chuck
2001 David Bykowski Anthony de Jesus
2002 Brian Saxton Matt Weiner
2003 Allison Manzuk
2004 Dan Greenstein
2008 Jessie Connolly
2009 Matt Weiner & Evan Silberman Andrew Hart
2010 Fred Morlan Mike Sorice Chris Ray
2011 Trygve Meade (resigned before end of term and replaced by Gautam Kandlikar) Gautam Kandlikar & Andrew Hart Andy Watkins
2012 Mike Bentley Matt Weiner Eric Mukherjee
2014 Sam Luongo Rob Carson
2015 Matthew Jackson Auroni Gupta
2016 Mike Bentley Mike Sorice Jordan Brownstein
2017 David Reinstein Gaurav Kandlikar Rob Carson
2018 Ryan Rosenberg
2019 Fred Morlan Victor Prieto Ike Jose
20201 Sam Luongo Emily Dickson Mike Bentley
2021 Victor Prieto Casey Bindas
2022 Emily Dickson
2023 Mia McGill Ben Weiner Ganon Evans
  1. The 2020 NSC was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Every year at NSC, PACE gives out the Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award and the Benjamin Cooper Young Ambassador Award to those who promote the spirit and honor of quizbowl competition. It is the only such national award in high school quizbowl. (ACF created the Gordon Carper Award soon after the Benjamin Cooper Award to recognize similar individuals who have similarly contributed to the college game.)

More information about the award can be found on the PACE website.

External Links