San Diego County Academic League

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The San Diego County Academic League is a loose confederation of four independent regional Academic Leagues that send their champions to compete in the televised (on ITV) San Diego County tournament each year.


The individual Academic Leagues have been in existence since the 1980s and possibly back to the 1970s. While they are all linked together by serving as qualifiers for the San Diego County Academic League tournament (overseen by the San Diego County Office of Education), they all have their own unique traditions, procedures, and question sources. They used to be united by a common scoring system, wherein a correct tossup is worth 3 points and bonuses are 3 parts worth 1, 3, or 5 points for 1, 2, or 3 correct answers, respectively, though the San Diego City League and Metro Conference League have broken with that and adopted regular quizbowl scoring as of 2015-2016 and 2010-2011 respectively. Despite recent efforts by participating teams, only the San Diego City and the Metro Conference have adopted pyramidal questions. The remaining two divisions are still undoubtedly bad quizbowl.

North County Academic League

Main page: North County Academic League

Total Number of Participating Schools: 28

Current Champion: Del Norte High School

Region: All schools north of San Diego Unified and Grossmont Union within San Diego county (including the northern parts of the city of San Diego not covered by San Diego Unified).

Question Source: Coach-submitted database of mostly speedchecks, with verbatim repeats

Levels: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman

San Diego City Academic League

Main page: San Diego City Academic League

Total Number of Participating Schools: 24

Current Champion: The Bishop's School

Region: Consists of all schools within San Diego Unified as well as most of the nearby private schools including Bishop's School and Francis Parker.

Question Source: NAQT (as of 2015-2016)

Levels: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Novice

Grossmont Academic League

Main page: Grossmont Academic League

Also called the East County League.

Total Number of Participating Schools: 12

Current Champion: West Hills High School

Region: All schools within the Grossmont Union District of Eastern San Diego County

Question Source: Speedchecks written by league commissioners each year

Levels: Varsity, Junior Varsity

Metro Conference Academic League

Main page: Metro Conference Academic League

Also called the Sweetwater or South Bay League.

Total Number of Participating Schools: 12

Current Champion: Olympian High School

Region: Schools within the Sweetwater Union District of southern San Diego County, as well as local private school Mater Dei Catholic.

Question Source: NAQT from MS sets (JV) and IS-A sets (Varsity)

Levels: Varsity, Junior Varsity

Varsity Champions

Due to so-far scant information, it is difficult to come up with a list of historical champions. Anyone with knowledge of Academic League champions or second place teams is encouraged to add to the table. Final game scores, if known, are listed in parentheses.

Year Overall Champion Second Place
1991 La Jolla (140) Santana (20)
2000 Hilltop (72) Granite Hills (32)
2003 Scripps Ranch
2004 Mt. Carmel Scripps Ranch
2005 Southwest (124) La Jolla (53)
2006 Rancho Buena Vista (79) Southwest (66)
2007 Torrey Pines (62) Southwest (47)
2008 Eastlake (73) Scripps Ranch (48)
2009 Rancho Bernardo (109) Francis Parker (53)
2010 Rancho Bernardo
2011 Torrey Pines (169) Canyon Crest (63)
2012 Torrey Pines
2013 Westview (88) Rancho Bernardo (73)
2014 Westview (84) La Jolla (77)
2019 Canyon Crest The Bishop's School
2020 No county champion declared
2021 No county champion declared
2022 No county champion declared
2023 Del Norte (580) Olympian (105)


In a 2007 match between La Jolla and Scripps Ranch for one of the regional championships, a closely fought match went to overtime. The tiebreak tossup asked which nation was the first to be established with the help of the United Nations. Scripps Ranch answered with Israel, was ruled incorrect, and lost one point (thereby losing the match). The answer on the page turned out to be Libya. As the county championships were not for several weeks, and the game took place on a weekday night and would not be broadcast until that Sunday, Scripps Ranch was able to file an official protest the next day. The team cited both the CIA World Factbook and U.N. Resolutions as evidence that Israel was established with the help of the United Nations three years before Libya was. The protest was denied and the regional commissioner cited two sources in their denial, printouts of which were mailed to the Scripps Ranch coach. The commissioner claimed the first source was Encyclopedia Britannica. The second source was Debbie's Super Trivia Encyclopedia. Emily from Scripps Ranch decided to e-mail Ken Jennings about this travesty. Ken's response, which can be found in this blog entry, notes that this kind of stuff happened all the time when he played CBI, which he describes as a "similarly monolithic and complacent organization". Results of an online search appear to indicate that the correct answer to the question depends entirely upon the exact wording of the question.