Author Archives: Ryan Rosenberg

2016 PACE NSC: June 4-5, Chicago

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is pleased to announce that the 2016 National Scholastic Championship will take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on June 4-5, 2016. The Hyatt Regency O’Hare has been the site of numerous quizbowl national championships, including the 2014 HSNCT and every ICT from 2010-2014. PACE looks forward to partnering with an experienced site and staff to bring teams a high-quality tournament in the NSC tradition.

We will continue to have Junior Varsity (JV) and Small School championships. These will not have separate divisions.

The tournament will be directed by Michael Sorice, and the set will be head edited by Jordan Brownstein.

The field for the 2016 NSC is capped at 96 teams. You can check the guidelines for how to qualify, where you can qualify, whether your team is currently qualified, and how to register once qualified.

Tournament Schedule
The schedule is available for download in long form, which includes prelim brackets, or the below short form.

Friday, June 3, 2016
6:00pm - 9:00pmTeam check-in (window 1)
lobby level, across from hotel check-in desk
7:00pm - 9:00pmCoaches Conference
Saturday, June 4, 2016
7:00am - 7:45amTeam check-in (window 2)
lobby level, across from hotel check-in desk
8:00am - 8:30amOpening Meeting
Rosemont Ballroom
9:00am - 1:00pmPreliminary Rounds (1-7)
1:00pm - 1:40pmTiebreaker A
1:40pm - 3:00pmLunch
2:30pmPlayoff seeds posted
lobby near help desk, on website
3:00pm - 6:00pmPlayoff Rounds (8-12)
time subject to change
6:00pm - 6:30pmTiebreaker B
7:00pmSuper-Playoff and placement seeds posted
Sunday, June 6, 2016
8:15amTeams report to Round 13 room
8:30am - 10:15amPlacement Rounds (13-15)
8:30am - 12:00pmSuper-Playoff Rounds (13-18)
11:00am - 12:00pmJunior Varsity and Small School Finals (17-18)
12:00pm - 1:30pmLunch
1:30pmTiebreaker C
all times below subject to change
2:15pmTournament Finals
3:15pmAll-Star Game
3:50pmAwards Ceremony
4:30pmTournament ends

For staffing inquiries from those not affiliated with an attending team, please contact

If you have any questions about the 2016 NSC or PACE in general, please feel free to contact Director of Communications Marianna Zhang at

2015 NSC Field Filling Rapidly

96 teams have filled out the NSC registration form! As a reminder, if you have filled out the registration form and PACE has not yet received your deposit, you are not officially in the NSC field. The list of teams that are at each stage of NSC registration is on the PACE website.

In terms of getting into the NSC field, no matter if your team is the 1st team, the 97th team, or the 200th team to fill out the registration form, if you submit one of the first 96 deposits PACE receives, you are guaranteed a spot in the NSC field. There may be additional spots available if teams submit deposits and then drop, but this is not guaranteed. Teams that have not yet filled out the form and submitted deposits should do so as soon as possible, as the field is filling rapidly.

PACE will continue to accept deposits until we have received 96 and the field is closed. After that, any teams submitting deposits will be placed on the wait list. If there are drops, teams will be taken off the wait list in order of first deposit received, then first deposit postmarked, then first to fill out the registration form.

2021 Benjamin Cooper Awards: Now Accepting Nominations

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for the 2021 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Awards. The awards, which recognize those who contribute to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition,” will be presented at the online 2021 PACE National Scholastic Championship.

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award will be given to a coach, advisor, administrator, tournament organizer, or other person who has made significant contributions to high school quizbowl. A second award, the Young Ambassador Award, will be given to someone affiliated with a college or high school program who, despite their young age, has already made valuable contributions to the high school academic competition community. Nominations will be accepted through April 1, 2021, and the winners will be announced in early May. For more information on the award and the nomination process, please see below.

The Benjamin Cooper Awards:

The Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award and the Young Ambassador Award recognize those who have made substantial contributions to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.” Benjamin Cooper, for whom the award is named, was a model student at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, who was well-liked among his colleagues and the faculty. He participated in many activities in school and in service to the community. Because of his enthusiasm and encouragement to promote academic competition among his team members, he was selected as the captain of the varsity team for the 1997-1998 school year. On August 12, 1997, Ben was tragically killed in an automobile accident while returning from his summer job.

The first Cooper Award was presented by PACE to Georgetown Day School team advisor Sue Ikenberry in honor of Ben at the 1998 NSC. Subsequent awards have been presented every year, and a complete list of winners is available on the PACE website. The Young Ambassador Award was first presented at the 2004 NSC.

Last year’s winners were Chris Johnson (Itawamba High School, Mississippi) and Ashish Kumbhardare (Penn State University, Pennsylvania).

How to Nominate:

Any member of the quizbowl community is eligible for the Cooper Award. Eligibility for the Young Ambassador Award is restricted to those who are currently students in high school or college. PACE welcomes re-nomination of those nominated in previous years who have continued to contribute to the quizbowl community. Organizations are eligible for nomination, as are small groups of individuals who have collaborated on their quizbowl work. The Cooper Awards are primarily intended to honor contributions to the high school quizbowl community.

To submit a nomination, please compose a statement of no more than 1,000 words detailing your nominee’s contributions to the quizbowl community. This statement should include a summary of positions held by the nominee as well as a specific explanation of why, in your opinion, they have contributed to the “spirit and honor of quizbowl competition.”

Please email your nomination statement to this year’s Cooper Award coordinator, Victor Prieto, at no later than April 1, 2021. To make sure they’re easily found, please put “Cooper Nomination” in the subject line of the email, and clearly specify in the text if you are nominating someone for the Young Ambassador Award. Victor Prieto will confirm receipt of your nomination within a few days of the time you submit it (if you haven’t heard back from us within a week, please send a follow-up). In your email, please include your contact information in case the PACE Cooper Award Committee wishes to contact you for additional information about the nominee. All nomination statements are strictly confidential and will be seen only by the PACE members involved in the selection process.

Announcement of Winners:

Members of the PACE Cooper Award Committee will deliberate throughout the month of April. The winners will be announced on the message board and on the PACE website during the first week of May. The awards will be formally presented to the winners during the 2021 NSC weekend.

If you have any questions about this year’s Cooper Award or to submit a nomination, please contact Victor Prieto at

2015 NSC: Wild Card Application Now Open

The wild card application process for the 2015 NSC is now open! The procedure for submitting a wildcard bid is as follows:

Teams that wish to submit a wildcard bid for the 2015 PACE NSC should send an e-mail to PACE member Jason Loy at Please include the following information in the e-mail:
1. Team name (i.e. Smith High School B).
2. Expected team roster, including grades of players. Note: you are not bound to keep this roster.
3. Link to stats with top performances this school year.
4. Does your school meet the PACE small school definition? See the PACE website.
5. Brief summary of why your team deserves a NSC bid.

New in 2015:

  • PACE is now guaranteeing a seven-day review period for all wild card applications. If your team applies for a wild card and does not receive a reply within seven days, applicants may treat their team’s bid as accepted and register as such.
  • PACE will automatically approve wild card bids from teams which finished highly enough at events that meet our standards for qualifier status, even if those events are not officially listed on the PACE website.
    • Example: If “City High School A” finished in first, second, third, or fourth place at the “City Invitational Tournament,” a 20-team tournament which was run on an NAQT Invitational Series set, offered eight games to all teams, and kept team statistics – within the 20 percent cutoff of a Gold qualifier – their bid would be automatically approved regardless of whether the “City Invitational Tournament” chose to join the official list of qualifier events.