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 is run by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
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.
* The 2020 and 2021 competitions were held online in a modified format.