A tournament is the basic unit of quizbowl competition and refers to a competition hosted by a school or other venue where teams play rounds of quizbowl against on another. Any given tournament will use a set of questions that were either written by the host or purchased from either a national provider like NAQT or an informal writing team.
Most tournaments have a set of eligibility rules which limit players to enrollment in a school of a particular sort (e.g. middle school, high school, or college), but otherwise rely on informal methods to limit participation. Most national tournaments have some sort of qualifier which determines which teams can compete.
- The host of a tournament is either the physical location where the tournament is located (typically a school or hotel) or the organizers of the tournament. For the typical regular season tournament, these will refer to the same institution: the school which is hosting and their quizbowl club.
- A tournament is said to run the question set which teams are playing.
- A tournament is typically considered a site of the set that it is used. It can be classified as either a main site or a mirror based on whether the set was written by the school that is hosting it or not. In cases where all (or most) of the writing team of the set does not belong to a single institution or they do not have a corresponding physical location, a tournament can be manually designated as the main site.
- Question sets which are only intended to be run once for its target audience, like national tournaments, do not typically describe their single location as the main site.
- The difficulty of a tournament refers to the difficulty of the set which it is running.
Tournaments can be broadly classified as local or national, by difficulty, or by eligibility, with these last two categories having some overlap in nomenclature (middle school, high school, community college, college, or open). Some
The QBWiki has some categories pertaining to tournaments; note that they are incomplete:
There is also a guide on how to run a high school tournament that is not actually limited to high school tournaments, but could use some updating.