Fun practice formats

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Several alternative or "fun" formats of quizbowl exist for use at less serious practices or in scrimmages.

Designate Bowl

Main Page: Designate Bowl

Designate Bowl is an informal variety of quizbowl in which players designate teammates after buzzing. It was once played frequently at Chicago practices, usually during the last half-hour of practice or during Spring Quarter after ACF Nats. It was created by David Seal and Michael Arnold.

Modified Prussian

A quizbowl format developed by Mike Usher of Berkeley. It involves every player playing for himself on tossups. If a player gets a tossup, he has a chance to either take the bonus on his own or to nominate a champion to help him out on the bonus. If the player takes the bonus on his own, whatever points he doesn't get on the bonus accrue to the moderator. If the player elects to split the bonus with a champion, he and the champion split the points evenly (if there is an odd number of points, the player who got the tossup gets the odd point). Points for dead tossups are also given to the moderator. The goal is to beat the moderator, as well as the other players. Due to the prevalence of greed, the moderator frequently wins. [1]

Two-Headed Monster

In Two-Headed Monster, two players (usually the best two in attendance if there's an incredibly lopsided set of players) play as a team; their team acts as though it is playing Designate Bowl (i.e. no signaling whatsoever, each player can only buzz when he/she thinks their teammate knows the answer, and only that teammate can give an answer). The entire rest of the room plays against the "monster" as a large team.


A quizbowl variant devised by Mike Usher (see also Modified Prussian). Two or more teams play against each other. On every tossup, each neg causes a deduction of twice the points of the previous neg, but the point value of the tossup doubles as well. This frequently causes score differences in the thousands, especially in the situation that a tossup comes up to which only a single player knows the answer. In this case, everyone on that player's team negs, causing the team to then accumulate vast amounts of points when that player gets the tossup. [2]

Modified Caprivian

[22:39] setht modified caprivian is fijian, but reading only every other word of the question [22:40] setht also it's free for all with two buzzes per tossup

In recent years, Yale has used the "every other word" constraint independent of the Fijian scoring rules.