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Buzzword is an asynchronous, online, audio quizbowl competition for individual players, created and hosted by NAQT. [1]

Buzzword debuted in the spring of 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shutdown of in-person tournaments [2]. Initially, it existed as eight-week seasons of 50 tossup questions per week, in a distribution similar to an Invitational Series packet, divided into divisions by difficulty (A: lowest, B: intermediate/akin to an IS-A set, C: akin to an IS-set) and by education level (Middle School, High School, Collegiate, Open).

At various times after the first season, Level D (comparable to HSNCT difficulty) was added, competitions in Popular Culture and Sports (at various times separate and together) were added, and single- or few-game specials occurred in specific subjects or interest areas (film, the holidays, and so on).

More recently, owing largely to the resumption of in-person quizbowl (and in-person social life more generally), Buzzword has shifted to exist primarily as yearlong seasons of Sports and Popular Culture (i.e. excluding sports) questions, delivered in weekly 10-question increments; there is not currently a regular season of academic Buzzword content. [3] Practice Buzzword (non-competitive gameplay on tossups from old standard-format quiz bowl sets) is also sometimes offered.

Special one-off Buzzword events on specialty topics have been held from time to time, occasionally in partnership with outside organizations (e.g. an event on Remembering Guys in partnership with Defector Media, and another on Aerospace/Aviation, sponsored by Boeing and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Greater Huntsville Section [4].

Format differences from regular quizbowl

Each game of Buzzword consists of tossup questions in the form of audio files moderated by expert human moderators. The player may interrupt the question to buzz in and has 15 seconds to type their answer. Unlike standard power-marked tossups, Buzzword tossups are worth an incremental number of points depending on where the player buzzed, from 20 points at the beginning to 10 at the end of the question. (As is usual for NAQT, the phrase "For 10 points" begins the final sentence or clause of the question, but a tossup may still be worth more than 10 points at the time it is said.) After the game is over, players can look at a leaderboard of total scores and see the point value and "celerity" (fraction of question left to read) of the best buzz on each tossup up to that point.

Buzzword does not allow for players to be prompted.