Idaho National Labs Scholastic Tournament

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Idaho National Laboratory Scholastic Tournament is a high school science and math focused quizbowl program played throughout the state of Idaho and sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory. The state winner in each of the three size-based divisions play in the Science Bowl. Schools play in weekly league games in November and December, advance to regional play in February and March, and play in the state final in March. The championship matches for each division are taped and broadcast for Idaho Public Television.


The format of the INL Scholastic Tournament differs somewhat from other Science Bowl affiliated competitions. Teams consist of four regular players and three alternates, who can be substituted between any period. The match is divided into three periods. In the first and third periods, teams ring in to win tossup questions. Upon being recognized, the player ringing in gives an answer. 10 points are awarded for a correct answer, and 5 points are deducted for an incorrect answer. If the answer is incorrect, the other team gets a chance to ring in and answer the question. Again, 10 points are given for the correct answer, but this time, no points are deducted for an incorrect answer. Upon answering a question correctly, a bonus question worth 5 points is addressed to the team. All members of the team, including the three alternates, may confer on the bonus questions. No points are deducted for an incorrect answer to a bonus question. The second period is a lightning round. The team with the lead after the first period goes first, and the other team leaves the room. A series of questions are asked in a 60 second interval, and team members may call out an answer without having to ring in and be recognized. They may give as many answers as they want, until either the correct answer is given or the captain calls "pass." When the captain calls "pass," the next question is read. After the minute has elapsed, that team leaves and the process is repeated, with the same set of questions, for the other team. Five points are awarded for each correct answer during the bonus round, and there is no penalty for incorrect answers. The team with the highest score after 3 periods win.

About 3/4 of the questions are science or math questions. The rest come from other academic fields. For a tossup question where calculation is involved, the teams are given 20 seconds to answer the question.


The Scholastic Tournament started some time in the 1960s, and is still being run.

External Links

Idaho National Laboratory Scholastic Tournament