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For the penalty given to an incorrect interruption, see negs.

Quizbowl allows players to interrupt tossup questions by buzzing before the moderator finishes reading the question. Like any other incorrect answer, an incorrect interruption prevents the team from answering the tossup, allowing the other team to answer once the question has been fully read. In many formats, a point penalty (a neg) is assessed against the first team to interrupt a tossup with an incorrect answer. Some formats award extra points (a power) for a correct answer to a tossup interrupted sufficiently early.

The interruption game mechanic allows for pyramidal tossups to effectively distinguish between teams based on knowledge of a subject. Clues are arranged in descending order of difficulty, and teams that know more about a subject will be able to determine the answer on an earlier, harder clue and interrupt the question.

Some bad quizbowl formats (such as the post-2011 HCASC format) prohibit interruption of tossups, as does the game show Jeopardy! When questions are very short or have hoses, interruption is difficult or dangerous.

While bonus questions can be interrupted, there is rarely a point in doing so, as the team controlling the bonus can hear the entire question before answering. In timed matches, teams will sometimes interrupt a bonus to increase the number of tossups heard.