The OSSAA Academic Bowl State Championship is a quizbowl state championship organized by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. The tournament is held annually at Redlands Community College in El Reno on the first Saturday in February. Teams qualify for the event by competing in District and Area competitions earlier in the season. Like all other OSSAA events, teams competing in Academic Bowl are placed into divisions according to OSSAA's school size classification system; each division runs independently, and a separate championship title is awarded for each. In 2009, the classifications were shifted, with Class B being dropped in favor of a new 6A class.
Rules and Format
OSSAA is viewed by many teams in Oklahoma as an example of bad quizbowl. OSSAA uses a four-quarter format, with the first and third quarters being composed of twenty short tossups (often only one or two clues), and the second and fourth quarters consisting of 60-second lightning rounds. Tournaments beyond the district level use a double-elimination bracket format, and the winner of any given OSSAA event will likely have played no more than three or four games.
OSSAA's official rules have also been subject to concern: in addition to bizarre rules such as one explicitly banning "Boom boxes...or noisemakers of any kind, including airhorns [and] cowbells", there are other concerning issues, such as a rule preventing students or coaches from presenting reference materials or information available online during a protest.
Concerns Over Question Quality
OSSAA questions are non-pyramidal, and have historically been plagued by inconsistent, weak, and at times factually incorrect writing. OSSAA packets have no standard category distribution (resulting in some 40-question rounds only featuring one Fine Arts question), and the categorization of some questions are often misleading or outright incorrect, such as a question on the autobiography of Tim Tebow being categorized as "Literature".
Moreover, concerns have been raised over the method OSSAA uses to select question providers. While no official information is publicly available, those who have dealt with OSSAA's bidding process have claimed that the only factors which appear to have been considered by the organization were price and location; no mention was made of product quality or the reputation of the provider in any decisions.
As a result of question quality concerns, many top teams in Oklahoma do not view OSSAA as a legitimate state championship, and choose not to compete in the organization's competitions, or do so with incomplete or shorthanded rosters (many of these teams instead compete in the NAQT Oklahoma State Championship). However, OSSAA competitions are often seen as more "prestigious" or "legitimate" by school administrations due to their being run by the same organization which oversees all other extracurricular competitions in Oklahoma. As a result, they are sometimes the only events for which schools will officially provide funding.
State Championship Results
Six championship titles are awarded each year; as of 2022, 73 schools have each won at least one championship. Booker T. Washington holds the record for most championships, with twenty titles (each in the two largest divisions), while Drummond has won nineteen (each in the two smallest).
Results are sourced from the "History of State Champions" section of the 2021-2022 OSSAA Academic Bowl Manual
- Finn Bender on the hsquizbowl forums
- Tracey Hickman on the hsquizbowl fourms
- Bryce Avery on the hsquizbowl forums
- Booker T. Washington are listed as the winners of the 1990 state championship, though other sources, including past versions of this article, have Broken Arrow listed as 1990 champions. Booker T. are listed here in accordance with the OSSAA Academic Bowl Manual, but given the history of such errors in the early years of OSSAA Academic Bowl, it is difficult to determine who was actually declared champion.