Conestoga Valley Tournament

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The Conestoga Valley Tournament is a high school tournament run annually by Conestoga Valley High School of Lancaster, Pennsylvania since 1993. It is known for asking questions about Lancaster area high school sports teams and mascots and other local trivia, "math" problems of a format similar to "take the number of players on a hockey team, multiply that by the number of innings in baseball, ...", spelling questions, and, in general, terrible questions.

The matches are timed and it usually features around 5 preliminary rounds and complimentary lunch at the school cafeteria. The prelims are randomly assigned, meaning that some teams get harder schedules that others. This results in a marked difference between the lowest 5-0 and the highest 4-1 team in the playoff, somewhat skewing the bracket.

Moderators at the tournament are not allowed to give correct answers. Full names are required by some moderators, while others will take just last names. Recognition rules are in effect, but the moderators inconsistently apply this rule. In fact, at least once a moderator recognized a player, and then preceded to give the player a neg for not waiting for recognition.

Regrettably, even though at its peak the tournament attracted around fifty teams a year, most teams did not know of other quizbowl formats. This has changed, however, in recent years and attendance has steeply declined.


Year Champion Second Field Size Final Score
1993 Manheim Township
1994 Manheim Township
1995 Manheim Township Annville-Cleona 32 365-155
1996 Manheim Township Cedar Crest 40 345-140
1997 Manheim Township Lancaster Mennonite 36 530-30
1998 Manheim Township Cedar Crest 45 190-160
1999 Warwick Camp Hill 130-120
2000 Lancaster Mennonite Manheim Township 265-240
2001 Hempfield Lancaster Mennonite 54 335-295
2002 Elizabethtown Lancaster Catholic 52 305-140
2003 Manheim Township Cedar Crest 54 200-160
2004 Elizabethtown West Chester East 60 145-130
2005 Elizabethtown Harrisburg Academy 57 200-90
2006 West Chester East Penn Manor 56 140-125
2007 Manheim Township Penn Manor 48 160-60
2008 Cumberland Valley Manheim Township 54 205-105
2009 Cumberland Valley Manheim Township 52
2010 Manheim Township Conestoga Valley 48 175-40
2011 Manheim Township Cumberland Valley 50 190-35
2012 York Suburban Manheim Township 48 175-90
2013 Cumberland Valley Lower Dauphin 45 150-65
2014 West Chester East Conestoga Valley 46
2015 West Chester East West Chester East B


Since 2002 the tournament has been house-written by Conestoga Valley coaches and teachers.

The 2004 tournament featured gems such as:

  • "Sing the Oscar Meyer Weiner theme song" as the first bonus in the finals.
  • "Identify the Lancaster County high schools that made it to states in a particular sport this year."

Some questions from the 2007 tournament:

  • "What is the sum of the first 80 positive integers?"
  • "If a female has more than one husband, that's called what?"
  • "If a coin is tossed in the air three times, what is the probability that heads will appear two or more times?"
  • "What was Martin Luther King's given name?"
  • "What is the capital of Afghanistan?"
  • "What is the empirical formula for benzene?"
  • "In particle physics, what basic constituent of matter is classified under the names 'up,' 'down,' 'strange,' 'charmed,' 'bottom' and 'top'?"
  • "What number equals obesity when figuring body mass index?"
  • "What was the first state to allow women to vote?"
  • "Is it possible for a team to strike out four times in the same inning?"

The 2008 tournament featured gems such as:

  • Russians are known for a variety of artistic forms including writing, composing, and sculpting. Who wrote War and Peace?
  • Barry Bonds, Floyd Landis, and Marion Jones are all athletes who were caught cheating recently. In which sport was a referee recently caught gambling on games he officiated?
  • In this work Aunt Sally and the Widow Douglas look after the title character, while he goes on a trip with the slave Jim. Name this work and its author. (See hose)
  • There are a variety of tv shows based on lawyers. One of these shows has six different spinoffs including SVU and Criminal Intent. Who writes Law & Order?

From the 2011 tournament:

  • The entropy of a hypothetically pure, crystalline substance at absolute zero temperature is zero. What is the the law that was just defined?
  • Calculate the value of 5 factorial.
  • John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson had the same man serve as vice president. This man desperately wanted to become president in his own right, but regrettably this South Carolina politician turned toward sectionalism as he matured. Name this notable South Carolinian who never made it to the Oval Office.
  • Bonus questions that required listing the entirety of large categories such as the seven wonders of the world.

The 2015 tournament's final match included a bonus asking teams to identify four tools from a toolbox. [1]