Novice tournaments use IHSSBCA rules. Please read our IHSSBCA Tournament Policies and our guidelines for coaches, players, game officials, and tournament hosts.

IHSSBCA regular season tournaments are only open to teams with an IHSSBCA member coach. Visit the membership page or our online shop to become an IHSSBCA member.

The 2024 Novice registration form will be posted for download Fall 2024.

Submitting a registration form does not guarantee entry into any tournament site. Some sites may have capacity limits or other restrictions on registration. Contact your prospective tournament host to confirm your registration.


The annual Novice tournaments will be held on November 2, 2024 at the following sites:

Contact Kristin Strey if you would like to host a Novice tournament or if you have questions.

What are Novice Tournaments?

Novice tournaments are high school scholastic bowl tournaments that are held across the state in early fall. Novice tournaments are held at multiple schools across the state on the same day, giving many teams the opportunity to play. “Novices” are players who are new to the game of scholastic bowl, so these tournaments are restricted to players who are new or who have not already demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for the game (see “Novice Player Restrictions” below). These full-day tournaments are sponsored by the IHSSBCA, and each school must have an affiliated IHSSBCA member to register.

Novice tournaments cannot be counted in team records for IHSA win-loss reporting and cannot be included in individual statistics for All-Sectional/All-State candidates. This is because Novice tournaments are restricted by player skill and grade level, and does not reflect a varsity-level standard of play.

Contact Novice Coordinator Kristin Strey with questions, or if you’re interested in hosting a Novice tournament.

Novice Player Restrictions

This tournament is open to all IHSSBCA member teams, but individual players may not compete if they have demonstrated great skill or a lot of game experience. The spirit of Novice tournaments is to provide a gameplay opportunity to new and very inexperienced players without forcing them to play against more experienced opponents. Coaches and players often know instinctively whether a player will need the Novice experience to start off their playing career, but if you are unsure about a player’s eligibility, the IHSSBCA provides the following statistical player restrictions. Only the following students may play:

  • Any freshman who has never made the top 100 players at MSNCT;
  • Any sophomore who has never made the top 100 players at MSNCT, and who has never made the top ten players at a tournament or conference in high school; and
  • Any junior or senior entering their first season of high school play.

For the “top players” above, lists should be compiled at the end of preliminary play, if a tournament involves prelims and playoffs phases.

Ineligible freshmen for 2024-25 Novice are: Jimmy Fischer, matriculating from Marshall (Rockford) (2024 MSNCT); Daniel Ortman from Saint Norbert (Northbrook) (2024 MSNCT); and Aatman Shah from Keith Country Day (Rockford) (2024 MSNCT)
Ineligible freshmen for 2025-26 Novice are: Anvi Agarwal, matriculating from Franklin (Springfield) (2024 MSNCT); Nina DeBrass from Saint Benedict (Chicago) (2024 MSNCT); and Noah Schulman and Vedant Sedhurasan from Quest (Palatine) (2024 MSNCT)

This button will open hdwhite.org/qb/stats. Coaches, tournament hosts, and players can use this external resource to search team and player statistics to verify player eligibility before Novice tournaments.

The database search checks statistics posted on the national tournament database at hsquizbowl.org/db and NAQT’s independent database at naqt.com/stats. Please be aware that not all competitions show up in this resource. Statistics saved in Neg5 cannot be searched with this tool, and information may be missing or incomplete for many conferences and leagues. The IHSSBCA is not affiliated with this independently-managed resource.


The entry fee is $60 per team. Schools are expected to bring a working buzzer system and a staffer for the tournament. Contact your tournament host if you are unable to bring a buzzer or staffer. Every school must have a current IHSSBCA member to register for a Novice tournament; if you are not a member, you must join to enter a team or teams. Please be aware that each tournament site will have its own limit on the number of teams it can accommodate, and therefore, turning in a registration form does not guarantee you a spot in a tournament.

Question Source

All IHSSBCA Novice sites will be use the SCOP Novice set.