Fake national championships
At the high school level, NAQT HSNCT and PACE NSC are considered true national championships. At the college level, NAQT ICT and ACF Nationals are considered true national championships. All other "national championships" are considered fake national championships, and can be divided into two types.
Type I Fake National Championships
Type I Fake National Championships are awarded to teams that are the best in a certain subset of teams at a true national championship. NAQT Community College, Division II and Division I Undergraduate Championships are Type I Fake National Championships since they recognize the best team within a specific eligibility range (from which the actual best teams are usually ineligible). When it exists, ACF Nationals Division II is also such a Type I Fake National Championship. At the high school level, the NAQT Small School Championship is the best example of a Type I Fake National Championship.
Type II Fake National Championships
Type II Fake National Championships are championships of national tournaments that may have once been relevant but are no longer considered legitimate by mainstream quizbowl because many if not all of the best teams in the nation are not in attendance. The most prominent Type II Fake National Championship at the college level is the post-1997 CBI NCT.
Due to various field sizes and strengths throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it is more difficult to say which, if any, of the purported national tournaments at that time could be considered fake national championships. However, with the emergence of HSNCT and NSC as the standard bearers for high school quizbowl, most people in mainstream quizbowl consider post-1999 NAC, ASCN TOC, and Panasonic to be Type II Fake National Championships.