Author Archives: Marianna Zhang

2017 NSC Hotel Information

The 2017 NSC will be held in the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago on June 10-11, 2017.

General Hotel Information
The Hyatt Regency O’Hare is located at:
9300 Bryn Mawr Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018

Room Reservations
PACE has reserved a block in the Hyatt Regency specifically for attending teams and their affiliated people. Rooms in this block can be reserved at a discounted rate of $159 per room per night. All rates are per room per night and are subject to local tax and fees (subject to change). Reservations will not be accepted without a valid credit card guarantee of one night’s room rate plus tax for each room reserved.

Reservations must be made by Monday, May 1, 2017, to guarantee the discounted tournament rates. After that date, room blocks will be released and rooms and rates will be based on availability. All changes, cancellations, and inquiries reservations should be made directly with the hotel.

NSC attendees can reserve a room through either of two methods:
Through this booking link,
– Or by calling the Hyatt Regency O’Hare directly at 847-696-1234. Reference the 2017 PACE NSC room block.

Indicate any special needs you may have when making reservations. A confirmation will be sent to you by email shortly after booking.

A word of warning: Unauthorized organizations may contact you and try to sell you a room at a discounted price. They are commonly called room pirates and are not in any way connected to PACE’s organization or the tournament. The only authorized way to purchase a room is directly through the Hyatt room booking link listed above, or by calling the Hyatt. If you have any questions, please contact Bernadette Spencer at

We recommend teams traveling by flight fly to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The Hyatt Regency is only 2 miles east of the airport, and offers a complimentary 24 hour shuttle service to and from domestic airport terminals every 15 minutes.

More information about the hotel and transportation options can be found at the official hotel website.

Overflow Hotel
If the Hyatt Regency is full, we recommend the Doubletree O’Hare, just down the street from the Hyatt Regency. The Doubletree has a complimentary airport shuttle.

The Morgan Costa-Rhodes Memorial Scholarship

PACE is proud to announce the Morgan Costa-Rhodes Memorial Scholarship, a one-time $2000 college scholarship for current high school seniors. PACE plans on awarding this scholarship annually.

About Morgan Costa-Rhodes
During her short time at Parkersburg High School, Morgan Costa-Rhodes achieved success in every area in which she was involved. In 2011, Morgan was elected President of the high school’s Philosophy Club, was an active member of both the Debate team and Thespian Troupe #264, and, most notably, was a member of PHS’s A-team for the Quiz Bowl as Parkersburg High School became West Virginia’s state Quiz Bowl champions in 2011. She was also an artist; Morgan’s art was selected as the winner of the Young Authors Festival’s cover art contest for their annual publication. Serving as artist for PHS’S journalism staff, she also drew the design used for her thespian troupes t-shirts, made especially for their performance of Alice in Wonderland.

Morgan made the most of her time in life. This scholarship serves to commemorate her spirit as a philanthropist, an intellectual force, and a person who was just all-around happy to be here.

Current high school seniors are eligible for this one-time $2000 scholarship. No immediate relatives of PACE Members are eligible.

Students who 1) have demonstrated an interest in quizbowl, 2) have performed community service, and 3) have financial need, are encouraged to apply. These three criteria will be weighted equally.

Required materials
To apply, applicants should email the following materials to
– Name, address, email address, guardian name, guardian email address, high school, and FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If and only if the FAFSA EFC does not accurately portray the applicant’s financial need situation, applicants may add a short description of their financial need, maximum one page. If a student cannot obtain a FAFSA score for one reason or another, they can email to discuss alternative ways to demonstrate financial need.
– A description of the applicant’s high school quizbowl career, at most one page.
– A description of the applicant’s community service, at most one page. Community service need not be quizbowl-related.
– A reference letter from an adult who is familiar with the student’s quizbowl experience and/or the student’s community service. This letter should be sent directly from the adult, not from the student, with the student’s name included in the subject line of the email.

Applications will be considered on the equal basis of the applicant’s demonstrated interest in quizbowl, community service, and financial need. Applications will be reviewed blindly by a member of the Costa family as well as four PACE Members selected by and including the PACE President. The recipient will be selected by a consensus among these five people.

Important dates
The deadline for applications is March 1, 2017 to
Notifications will be made April 1, 2017.

The scholarship money will be sent directly to the college unless the recipient provides a reason why it should be handled otherwise.

For any questions regarding the scholarship, please contact

PACE NSC 2018: June 2-3, Washington, DC

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is proud to announce that the 2018 National Scholastic Championship will be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, VA, part of the Washington, DC metro area, on June 2-3, 2018.

The Hyatt Regency Reston has been the site of the 2015 NSC, as well as numerous quizbowl national championships. PACE looks forward to bringing teams another high-quality tournament in the NSC tradition.

More details are forthcoming.

2017 NSC: JV and Small School Titles

PACE will recognize Junior Varsity teams and Small School teams at the 2017 NSC. These will not be separate divisions.

Unlike the JV and Small School groups at the 2016 NSC, the number of titles in the JV group or the Small School group will depend on the number of teams in that group.

  • If there are at least 5 teams in a group, then the top three teams in that group will be awarded group titles.
  • If there are 2 to 4 teams (inclusive) in a group, then the top team in that group will be awarded the group title.
  • If there are fewer than 2 teams in a group, then no titles will be awarded in that group.

A JV team consists of players in 10th grade or below. Middle school teams count as JV teams.

A “small school” is a school with fewer than 700 students in 10th through 12th grades that is a public school and has a non-selective admission policy. Please note that non-selective is not the same as non-magnet. Eligible schools are schools from systems where every school is a specialized center and students may choose to attend any school.

A team can be eligible for both the JV and small school title.

JV and small school teams will still need to qualify for the NSC through the regular qualification process. If a small school or JV team does not qualify through the regular means, they can still apply for qualification through the wildcard process. The wildcard approval committee will consider JV and small school status.


Q: Why is PACE awarding JV and small school titles?
A: PACE hopes to encourage more national tournament participation amongst small schools (especially those in rural areas) and underclassmen.

Q: We qualified two teams for the NSC. Neither of these teams were JV teams. Can I bring one varsity team and one JV team to the NSC?
A: Yes, the normal NSC qualification rules still apply. The team you send to the NSC does not need to include any of the same players you qualified with.

Q: Will JV tournaments be eligible for NSC affiliation?
A: PACE does not consider tournaments with fields exclusively aimed at novice and/or JV teams to be NSC qualifiers. However, we will consider wildcard bids from teams that have performed well at JV tournaments, and will take their JV status into account.

2017 NSC Fee Structure

The fee structure for the 2017 PACE NSC is as follows:

Base fee: $605 per team (note that this is per team, not per school)
Buzzer systems*: -$10 each per school, max 1 per team
Staffers: -$50 each per school, max 2 per school
Hosting a gold-certified tournament: -$10 each per tournament, no limit
Hosting a platinum-certified tournament: -$20 each per tournament, no limit
Early payment discount: -$25 from total fee for full payment by March 1

*In order to claim a buzzer discount, teams must provide a system with at least eight fully working buzzers (defined as having lockout capabilities and functional identifying lights). Buzzer systems will be tested at buzzer check-in and teams who provide non-working systems will be required to refund the discount. Please note that unlike last year, buzzer discounts will be limited to one per team.

Teams may choose to pay the full registration fee as soon as they register, or to pay a $100 down payment at registration. PACE will count the $100 down payment towards the registration fee. If your team is being paid for in full by the team’s school or school district and another group, such as the students and/or coach, fronted the down payment, PACE will reimburse your team $100.

If a registered team withdraws from the tournament:
– The down payment is fully refundable (minus $5 processing fee) until March 13, 2017.
– The down payment is half-refundable (minus $5 processing fee) until March 27, 2017.
– After March 28, 2017, the down payment is non-refundable.

All registration payments, online or by mailed check, must be received by May 6, 2017. For each day your payment is not received after May 6, a $15 fee will be added to your entry fee. If your payment is not received by May 17, PACE reserves the right to drop your team from the tournament.

NSC entry fees primarily go towards writers and editors of the NSC question set, travel and lodging for NSC staffers, organization operating costs, and maintenance costs for this website and the forums. For more details, please see this post.