North County Academic League

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North County Academic League is a format of high school quizbowl played in northern San Diego County, California and run by a group of coaches and former coaches indirectly with the North County Principals' Conference. The season runs from January to March, when the four regional champions meet for the championship tournament. Various matches are televised on San Diego County Office of Education Instructional Television (ITV Channel 16). The winner of the Academic League was sent to the NAC at some point, but that tradition has not continued recently.


Academic League matches are played in tossup-bonus format and are timed (time varies depending on whether it is a Novice, Junior Varsity, or Varsity match). Tossups are worth three points and bonuses worth five points. A neg rule is also in play; teams are deducted one point for an incorrect answer at any point during or after the tossup, but not if the opponent has already been penalized for an incorrect answer. Bonuses are either three, four, or five parts, and 20 seconds is given for conferral on all parts, after which points are awarded based on how many parts the team got correct. The team with more points when time expires wins. If time expires in the middle of a tossup-bonus cycle, the tossup and/or bonus will be completed.

The top two teams in each division each year advance to an 8 team, single-elimination playoff. The winner of that playoff represents NCAL at the County Academic League championship on ITV.


According to the 2006 rules, each coach is required to submit 6 tossup and 6 bonus questions each year. "Coaches may write questions themselves, solicit an expert, or purchase the questions." Nine current events questions per week, all tossups, are to be written by the moderators directly out of the Time magazine dated Monday of that week. Questions are added to and taken out of a question bank, which means that verbatim repeats do occur from time to time, as attested to by several players.

List of Current Teams


In addition to continuing complaints over the non-pyramidal questions and repeats, the league division alignment has also been curiously changed to put almost all of the pyramidal quizbowl teams in the same division, thus limiting the number of them that can make the playoffs each year. As of 2015-2016, Coast Division powerhouses Torrey Pines and Canyon Crest were moved to the Inland Division, where they must play Rancho Bernardo, Westview, and Del Norte (which in the 2015-2016 year encompassed 4 of the top 50 teams in the country, according to the Morlan Rank).

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