The NAQT HSNCT is the largest national quiz bowl tournament; in 2016 it featured a 272-team field. The HSNCT is unique among national tournaments in its use of timed rounds (HSNCT matches are divided into two nine-minute halves). Like other NAQT tournaments, the HSNCT contains relatively more geography, current events, popular culture, and math computation (bonuses only). Teams qualify for the HSNCT by placing in the top 15% of any tournament that uses NAQT questions. The 2017 HSNCT will be held May 27-28 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia.
The PACE NSC is a smaller national tournament; 96 teams attended NSC in 2016. The question distribution is similar to that of an HSAPQ or ACF set; namely, there are no popular culture questions. The NSC incorporates bouncebacks into its bonus questions—bonus parts that a team fails to answer are “bounced back” to the other team, which is given a chance to answer the bonus part for the full ten points. PACE does not produce question sets, but instead “certifies” local quiz bowl tournaments. Teams that place in the top 15% of a certified tournament, in the top 20% of a gold-certified tournament, or in the top 25% of a platinum-certified tournament qualify for the NSC. The 2017 NSC will be held June 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare near Chicago, Illinois.
The HSAPQ NASAT is unique among national tournaments in that players do not play with their schools, but in one “all-star” team of players from the same U.S. state. This tournament uses the most difficult set of questions available to high school students, and California has historically done well at the competition. It uses mACF format (no popular culture/sports, no powers, 20/20). In 2016, fifteen teams competed at NASAT.