Because quizbowl players enjoy analyzing things of this nature, several terms recognize unique or milestone combinations of national championships that players or teams can win.
Modern Triple Crown
By analogy to horse racing, the phrase Triple Crown usually refers to the feat of winning NAQT ICT, ACF Nationals, and Chicago Open -- the three most prestigious and popular hard tournaments -- in the same year. No single school's team has done this (nor has any team composed of players from a single school ever won Chicago Open at all). The individual players to have accomplished a single-year Triple Crown are:
In 2014, those three Virginia players won together, joining forces with Dennis Loo at ICT and ACF, and non-Virginian Eric Mukherjee at CO; moreover, Bollinger was the leading scorer at all three tournaments. 2014 Virginia is also the most recent school to win both ICT Division I and ACF Nationals in the same competition year.
Seven times, a player has finished first in two of the Triple Crown events and second in the third:
- Ezequiel Berdichevsky (2001, 2nd at ICT)
- Ezequiel Berdichevsky (2002, 2nd at Chicago Open)
- Jeff Hoppes (2004, 2nd at Nationals)
- Seth Teitler (2004, 2nd at Nationals)
- Adam Kemezis (2005, 2nd at Chicago Open)
- Andrew Hart (2011, 2nd at Nationals)
- Matt Bollinger (2012, 2nd at Nationals)
- Will Nediger (2016, 2nd at ICT)
- Will Nediger (2017, 2nd at Nationals)
The lesser but admirable achievement of finishing second at all three tournaments (a "Silver Crown"?) has been achieved by:
Career Triple Crown
Career winners of the modern Triple Crown, i.e. people who have won at least one ICT, ACF Nationals, and CO across their entire quizbowl playing careers, in addition to the four above, are (first win of each title listed after each name):
- Andrew Yaphe (1997 ACF, 1999 ICT, 2001 CO)
- Jeff Hoppes (2003 ACF, 2004 ICT, 2004 CO)
- Seth Teitler (2003 ACF, 2004 ICT, 2004 CO)
- Matt Lafer (2005 ICT, 2005 ACF, 2006 CO)
- Selene Koo (2007 ICT, 2007 ACF, 2011 CO)
- Kevin Koai (2010 CO, 2011 ACF, 2013 ICT)
- Matt Jackson (2011 ACF, 2013 ICT, 2015 CO)
- John Lawrence (2011 ACF, 2012 CO, 2016 ICT)
- Auroni Gupta (2015 CO, 2016 ACF, 2017 ICT)
- Will Nediger (2016 ACF, 2016 CO, 2017 ICT)
Classic Triple Crown
The term "Triple Crown" originally became popular circa 2000 to describe a set of three titles: NAQT ICT Division I, ACF Nationals, and the College Bowl (CBI) national championship. As ICT was created in 1997, and CBI lost relevance by the mid-2000s and ceased operating its championship entirely after 2008, the term had a limited window of currency.
During that window, two teams won those three events in a single year:
Because College Bowl, NAQT, and ACF used wildly differing question formats and distributions, teams that had success at all three usually fielded drastically different lineups at each tournament. Thus, Adam Kemezis, on the 2002 Michigan team, was the only individual player to win a classic single-year Triple Crown.
classic Career Triple Crown
At least eight other players, Jeff Bennett (Chicago), Ed Cohn (Chicago), Alice Chou (UVA, Chicago), Mike Davidson (Michigan), Susan Ferrari (Chicago), Matt Lafer (Michigan), John Sheahan (Chicago), and Andrew Yaphe (UVA, Chicago, later Stanford), have won a career Triple Crown.
All-time school-level classic Triple Crown
Three school programs have won ICT, ACF, and CBI across the span of their existence, all of them completing the achievement after CBI discontinued its championship (first title for each school listed):
- Stanford (1978 CBI, 1998 ICT, 2010 ACF)
- Virginia (199x CBI, 199x ACF, 2012 ICT),
- Maryland (1981 CBI, 2008 ICT, 2017 ACF)
Any team that won College Bowl before it went defunct could theoretically complete an all-time classic Triple Crown by winning ICT and ACF in the future. It is highly unlikely that any individual player will win a Triple Crown again; Rob Carson, who played on the 2007 College Bowl and 2011 ICT championship teams with Minnesota, presumably stands the best chance as he need only enroll in a graduate program and win ACF Nationals as a graduate student.
In 2021, Columbia, which had won ACF Nationals in 2019, won both ICT and the first season of the revived College Bowl TV show (which is not quizbowl and did not feature any members of the ICT squad). For several months in summer 2021, until Florida won 2021 ACF Nationals, Columbia became the third school to hold NAQT, ACF, and "College Bowl" championships at the same time.
Most career titles
Since the creation of HSAPQ's NASAT in 2010, it has been possible for one high school (or, more realistically, one high school player) to win three pyramidal high school national championships; HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT could be considered a high school Triple Crown.
The players who have won all of HSNCT, NSC, and NASAT in a single year are:
- 2014: Ben Jones and Arnav Sastry, of LASA (Jones was also on LASA's winning NHBB team that year)
- 2023: Rohan Kher and Charles Young, of Barrington
In years where a state's NASAT team consisted of players from a single school, two schools have won two of the three titles and finished second at the third:
Discontinued, non-pyramidal, and single-subject tournaments
Some students from Thomas Jefferson won HSNCT, NSC, and NTAE ("Panasonic") in 2005.
In 1991 Dorman entered all four high school national championships that existed at the time. They won the National Academic Championship, Stars 2000 National Academic Tournament, and Panasonic Academic Challenge and finished second at the ASCN Tournament of Champions. Jim Paluszak, of this team, also played on Dorman's 1989 NAC team, making him the only known 4-title player from before the modern era.
When considering all national championships including single-subject and non-pyramidal events, Sam Lederer has 7 total titles (3 HSNCTs, 3 NTAEs, and 1 NSC), Mikanowski has 5 (3 NSCs, 1 HSNCT, and 1 NAC), and Jones has 5 (2 HSNCTs, 1 NSC, 1 NASAT, 1 NHBB). These are believed to be the only players other than Young with more than 4 titles under the more inclusive definition.
Most career titles
The record for career high school titles considering only NSC, HSNCT, and NASAT is 5, held by Charles Young of Barrington (2021 HSNCT, 2021 NASAT, 2023 HSNCT, 2023 NSC, and 2023 NASAT). The list of people who have 4 career high school titles is: Ben Jones (LASA), Jacob Mikanowski (State College), Martin Devecka (State College), Sam Lederer (Thomas Jefferson (VA)), Jacob Oppenheim (Thomas Jefferson (VA), Will Sullivan (Thomas Jefferson VA), Graham Moyer (State College), Christoph Schlom (State College), David Liu (State College), and Rohan Kher (Barrington).
This term was coined during ACF Nationals 2012 for a single player winning all four major overall championships in quizbowl--the high school PACE NSC and NAQT HSNCT and the top ACF Nationals and NAQT ICT titles--in a career.
The only known player to have won the Grand Slam is Evan Adams (2007 HSNCT, 2007 NSC, 2012 (and 2014) ICT, 2014 ACF Nationals). The only players to have won three of the four legs are Shantanu Jha (all but HSNCT) and Tommy Casalaspi (all but NSC).
It was once theoretically possible, if exceedingly difficult and unlikely, for a high school student with dual-enrollment college player status to win these all in one year. As of 2019, NAQT no longer permits players to participate in both high school and college championships in the same year even if otherwise eligible. Changes to ACF eligibility around the same time also made almost all formerly eligible dual-enrolled high school students ineligible to participate in ACF for college teams, though this status is not completely impossible to achieve, and does not depend on what high school tournaments the student plays.
No name has yet been coined for the accumulation of different levels of NAQT championship. Theoretically there are nine national NAQT titles that any player could win over the course of their education (MSNCT, IPNCT Middle School, SSNCT, HSNCT, IPNCT High School, CCCT, ICT Division II, ICT Division I Undergraduate, and ICT Division I Overall). Some of these titles are relatively young, making it impossible or virtually impossible for a player to have won certain combinations of them.
The highest number of NAQT titles earned by any individual player to date is 3, achieved by:
- Jeff Hoppes (ICT Division II, ICT Division I Undergraduate, and ICT Division I Overall)
- Chris Ray (HSNCT, ICT Division II, and ICT Division I Overall)
- Evan Adams (HSNCT, ICT Division I Undergraduate, ICT Division I Overall)
- Tommy Casalaspi (HSNCT, ICT Division I Undergraduate, and ICT Division I Overall),
- Matt Jackson (ICT Division II, ICT Division I Overall, and ICT Division I Undergraduate, in that order)
- Ashvin Srivatsa (ICT Division II, ICT Division I Overall, and ICT Division I Undergraduate, in that order)
Both Ray and Casalaspi won their three levels in three consecutive years.
In addition to Hoppes, Jackson, Ray, and Srivatsa, six other players have won ICT Division II and later won ICT Division I Overall:
Berkeley's 2006 ICT Division I Overall championship team consisted entirely of former ICT Division II winners, who had won those titles with three different undergraduate schools.
The following people have won both HSNCT and ICT Division II overall:
- Luke Tierney (2016/2017 HSNCT; 2018 ICT DII)
The following people have won both HSNCT and ICT Division I Overall:
- J.R. Roach (2010 HSNCT; 2015 ICT DI)
The following people have won
The next tier for a school above winning both nationals in one year is to do so without losing a game at either tournament.
The high school equivalent, winning both HSNCT and PACE NSC without losing a game, has only been accomplished by Thomas Jefferson.