- For the QBWiki rules, see QBWiki:Rules.
Rules refers to the policies and procedures governing gameplay at tournaments. (Sets of rules are sometimes called "formats", a usage that can create confusion with the different concept of tournament format.)
The following rule sets are in common, current nationwide use:
- NAQT rules, sometimes with modifications to the rules about timed play
- ACF rules, sometimes with the modification of adding powers
- PACE rules (by far the least common at local tournaments, but prominently used at the NSC)
The modifications mentioned are common; other modifications also occur.
Many statewide organizations, leagues, etc. have their own rules.
Comparison of common rule sets
|Aspect||NAQT rules||ACF rules||PACE rules|
|Regulation match length||timed with two halves of 9 minutes (middle school, high school) or 10 minutes (college) each; maximum 24 tossup-bonus cycles||20 tossup-bonus cycles||20 tossup-bonus cycles|
|Players at a time on each team||4||4||4|
|Regular tossup value||10 points||10 points||10 points|
|Powers||15 points||Not available||20 points|
|Interrupt penalties||–5 points||–5 points||Not issued|
|Time after recognition to answer a tossup||2 seconds||5 seconds||5 seconds|
|Tossup "time to live"||3 seconds||5 seconds||5 seconds|
|Bonuses||3 parts, 10 points each||3 parts, 10 points each||3 parts, 10 points each|
|Time per bonus part||5 seconds; prompt after 4||5 seconds; prompt after 4||Controlling team: 5 seconds; prompt after 4|
Non-controlling team: 3 seconds; no prompt
|Timeouts||one (30 seconds) per team||one (30 seconds) per team||one (30 seconds) per team|
|Substitutions||At timeouts, at halftime, or before overtime||At halftime or before overtime||At halftime or before overtime|
|Overtime||Three tossups without bonuses, then sudden death if necessary||Sudden death||Sudden death|