Canadian Academic Quiz League - Sample Questions

The game we play follows a standard American format called "quiz bowl". A match is played between two teams, with up to four players on each team. The reader of the match alternates between two types of questions: Tossup questions are worth 10 points if answered correctly. Bonus questions can be worth up to 30 points, but usually allow for partial credit. In a typical match, about twenty tossup questions will be read.

Tossup questions:   individual players race to answer

Tossup questions aren't quite the quick-recall speed tests that you may be used to from high school. They usually have several clues that progress from obscure to easier, thus rewarding players who have a deeper knowledge of the subject. Example:

This city originated as a hunters' camp named Pile o' Bones, after the remains
of buffalo left there.  With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway
in 1882, it began 23 years as capital of the Northwest Territories as well as
headquarters of the Northwest Mounted Police, later the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, which still has its academy there.  For 10 points, what is this city,
named after Queen Victoria, that has since 1905 been capital of Saskatchewan?

Answer:  Regina

Obviously someone who hears the last three words of this question is unlikely to be helped by any of the previous information, but that's why they are the last three words. Tossup questions are usually answered before they're finished, and the excitement of the game comes from not knowing when somebody might try to answer.

On tossups, players compete as individuals and are not allowed to consult with teammates. If a player gives a wrong answer to a tossup question, then the player's entire team is shut out of attempting to answer it again, and if the reader hasn't finished the question yet, the team is also assessed a 5-point penalty while the question is completed for the other team.

Bonus questions:   team members work together

Teammates are not allowed to confer with each other on tossup questions, but they are encouraged to work together when they get a bonus question. These usually have multiple parts or multiple answers, and typically the team is given 5 seconds to answer each part. Also, in general the bonus will be completely unrelated to the preceding tossup. Here's a sample bonus question:

BONUS (30 points)
For 10 points each, name these athletes who won gold medals for Canada
at the Sydney Olympics.

(A) This first Canadian gold medalist of the Games won the men's triathlon.

Answer:  Simon Whitfield

(B) An Ontarian and a Quebecer shared Canada's first-ever Olympic tennis
medal by winning the men's doubles.  Name either athlete for 10 points.

Answers:  Daniel Nestor
          Sebastien Lareau

(C) This former Nigerian and 1999 Canadian Male Athlete of the Year won
the freestyle lightweight wrestling event.

Answer:  Daniel Igali

The surnames are underlined to indicate that they are sufficient to be accepted as correct answers. In general in quiz bowl, if an answer is a personal name, it is usually enough to give the family name.

Free offers!

The University of Waterloo Quiz Bowl club is offering any club in Canada that has not yet hosted an intramural the set used in "WatBowl III: Trivia Strikes Back" held in March 1999 for FREE. Send an e-mail to Zhan Huan Zhou at zhzhou -at- engmail -dot- uwaterloo -dot- ca with a request. All 10 question packs were written by Waterloo Quiz Bowl. They're at the right level for an intramural tournament and jam-packed with Canadian content and up-to-date events. All you need to do in return is mention they were donated by Waterloo.

Another FREE offer is for the questions from the first three British Columbia Bowls held in 2002, 2003, and 2004. If interested, send e-mail to Brock Stephenson at bstephen -at- direct -dot- ca.

Sample questions on the Web

Podcasts of quiz bowl games

Want to know what an actual quiz bowl game sounds like? Listen to these podcasts:

Rules of play

Here are some links to the official rules used by different organizations. All follow the format outlined above, but differ in such details as timed rounds vs. fixed number of tossups, how players should be recognized on tossups, time limits for answering, etc.

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