San Diego City Academic League

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The San Diego City Academic League is a format of high school quizbowl run by the San Diego Unified School District. It is one of four members of the San Diego County Academic League played in San Diego County, California.

The season runs from January to March. The city league is split into three divisions, who each generally play 7 round robin matches. The winner of each of those 3 divisions, as well as one wild card team, then go into 2 semi-final matches, and the two winners of those matches play a final championship match. The winner of that match then will go on to represent the league at the county championships. Various matches, including the semi-final and final 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 a straight tossup-bonus format and are timed, except when online (time varies depending on whether it is a Novice, Junior Varsity, or Varsity match). Tossups are worth ten points, and each of three bonus parts are worth ten points as well. There are no powers, but a neg rule is in play; teams are deducted five points 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. 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.


As of 2016, the league uses NAQT-provided questions. In 2016, all teams used Introductory Invitational Series ("A sets"), regardless of whether they were Novice, Junior Varsity, or Varsity. As of 2017, the novice division uses two NAQT Middle School Series sets, the JV divison uses two Introdudtory Invitational Series sets, and the Varsity division uses two NAQT Invitational Series sets. Teams that are a part of the League should take care to not play tournaments using sets they will play during academic league matches.

List of Current Teams

The divisions in which teams play are not officially named, but tend to fall under general geographic groupings.


Prior to 2016, players had many gripes about the question quality of the league, and their seeming unresponsiveness to criticism. However, since the league made the switch to good, pyramidal questions from NAQT, there has been little in the way of public controversy or complaint regarding the league or its questions.