Multi-championship achievements

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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:

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):

Undergrad "Triple Crown"

With the introduction of the IQBT Undergraduate Championship Tournament (UCT) in 2023, it became possible for a single school to win all of UCT, the ICT Division I Undergraduate title, and the ACF Nationals Undergraduate title in a single competition year.

Cornell did this in 2024, with Richard Niu, Raymond Wang, and Nathan Zhang competing together at all three events, joined by Yared Tadesse at UCT and ICT and by Jacky Xu at ACF.

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

See List of college quizbowl national champion players.

High School

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:

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.

Thomas Jefferson (VA) won the National Science Bowl in 2003, 2004, and 2005, during which years it also won each HSNCT and the 2005 NSC.

Most career titles

See List of high school quizbowl national champion players.

Grand Slam

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.

NAQT Levels

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:

The following people have won both HSNCT and ICT Division I Overall:

The following people have won DII and Undergraduate without ever winning Division I Overall:

The following people have won both MSNCT and ICT Division II overall:

Double Undefeated

The next tier for a school above winning both nationals in one year is to do so without losing a game at either tournament.

1999 Chicago, 2002 Michigan, and 2024 Chicago are the only teams who have ever accomplished this at ICT Division I and ACF Nationals. The last of those was the first team ever to clear the field at both nationals, which was not possible at ICT when the first two teams played it.

NAQT's website reports that 2007 Chicago went undefeated at 2007 ICT, completing a double-undefeated with ACF Nationals, though some people recall Illinois winning the first game of the final, whose score is not preserved in online results.

The high school equivalent, winning both HSNCT and PACE NSC without losing a game, has only been accomplished by Thomas Jefferson. No team since 2005 has gone undefeated at HSNCT at all.

High School Coaches - Career Totals

Four or more modern pyramidal national championships

8: Julie Gittings coached State College to 8 total championships across PACE NSC and NAQT HSNCT and also won one QU NAC for a total of 9 titles across all national tournaments.

6: Jeff Price has won three HSNCT titles and two NSC titles with Barrington as well as an MSNCT championship with Barrington Station.

4: Jason Flowers coached LASA to two HSNCT and two NSC titles.

Four or more championships in other nationals

6: Kevin Keegan coached six winning Maryland all-star teams at Panasonic/NTAE.

5: Jim Garrick won two QU NAC titles, a Panasonic/NTAE, and a Stars 2000 title with Dorman after previously winning ASCN TOC with Carolina High School.

4: Dorothy Meek won one QU NAC and three ASCN TOC titles with James Island.

External Links

The University of Chicago describes the 1999 team's Triple Crown