National Ocean Sciences Bowl
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), often referred to as "Ocean Bowl," is a single subject, quiz bowl-style competition in the U.S. It was formerly run by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. In 2022, the COL was dissolved and ownership of NOSB was transferred to the newly formed University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Due to the transition as well as fundraising issues, the 2023 competition was canceled, and a new format will be adopted in future years.
NOSB questions are themed around—you guessed it—the oceans. Topics include:
- Marine biology
- Physical oceanography
- Seawater chemistry
- Technology used by oceanographers
- Ocean geography
- Marine policy (both U.S. and international)
- Ocean history (usually explorers)
- (Rarely) ocean-themed literature
- Each round consists of two worksheets ("Team Challenge Questions" or "TCQs") on which team members can cooperate, followed by two timed, quizbowl-style buzzer halves of 6 minutes each. Some regionals may instead administer the worksheets between the two buzzer halves.
- Each worksheet/TCQ is scored out of 20 points. TCQs are typically graded during the first buzzer half, and TCQ scores are revealed at halftime.
- Most of the points in a typical match are scored during the two buzzer halves. A correctly answered tossup is worth 4 points, an incorrectly interrupted tossup (neg) is worth -4 points, and a correctly answered bonus is worth 6 points.
- All tossups are multiple choice and all bonuses are short answer. Despite this, moderators will still say "Tossup—Multiple Choice" or "Bonus—Short Answer" before each question.
- Unlike in Science Bowl, multiple-choice answers do not always need to exactly match the wording of the answer choice. Adding an article (e.g. "The Pacific Ocean" for "Pacific Ocean") is acceptable; however, any other modification (e.g. "octopuses" for "octopus") is still counted as wrong.
- Verbal recognition is required on tossups; "blurting" will disqualify one's team from answering the question, though there is no point penalty (unlike in Science Bowl).
- Unlike in Science Bowl or NAQT, the moderator must stop reading a tossup once the clock runs out if no team has buzzed in yet. However, the clock-killing neg is counterproductive as the tossup must be reread in its entirety after a team negs, regardless of the clock.
- Math computation seems to be absent from tossups and bonuses, appearing only in TCQs.
* Held online in a modified format.