The 2023 PACE NSC will take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois on June 10-11, 2023. Registration for all teams opened on March 1st, 2023.

The tournament will be directed by Ben Weiner, and the set will be head edited by Ganon Evans.

The general schedule for the 2023 NSC can be found on the weekend schedule page.

The current field, waitlist, and standby list can be found at the registered teams page.

If you have any questions regarding the registration process, you may contact Director of Communications Rebecca Rosenthal at communications@pace-nsc.org.

Registration for qualified teams

Qualified teams may register by completing the following two steps:
1. Filling out the NSC registration form, which opened for all teams regardless of qualification on March 1st, 2023. Please note that solely filling out this form does not guarantee a spot in the NSC field.
2. Making a $100 deposit, or alternatively, full payment of their registration costs. Teams are guaranteed a spot in the NSC field once this payment is received. Spots in the field will be reserved based on the deposit receipt date, and in the event of the tie, on postmark date.

Note: The above process must be completed for every team that seeks to register, even teams from the same school. For an example, if a school seeks to register two teams, the school should fill out the registration form twice (once for each team), and make two $100 deposits (can be combined into a single $200 payment; please make a note in the payment that the payment is to cover two teams’ deposit) or full payment.


If the field is full, qualified teams may reserve a spot on the waitlist by completing registration. The order of the waitlist will be determined by the order in which registration is completed. If a team on the waitlist is unable to enter the field, their deposit will be refunded.

Standby teams

Teams with standby status must commit to showing up to the tournament and being ready to play if a registered team fails to appear on Saturday morning for any reason. Standby teams play on an as-needed basis for no charge. Standby teams are responsible for arranging and paying for all of their own costs associated with attending the tournament, just as if they were regular teams in the field. The recompense for being a standby team is the possibility of playing the tournament without paying registration fees, and does not entitle any team to any reimbursement from PACE for other attendance expenses. There is no guarantee that any spots will open for standby teams to play.

Teams applying for standby status need not have qualified for the 2023 NSC, and may be B-teams, C-teams, etc. of teams already in the field. However, all members of any such standby team must plan to be on-site on Saturday morning regardless of whether they get to play.

In the event that spots do open up, PACE reserves discretion in selecting which standby teams fill the vacancies, though barring extreme circumstances it will do so in a first-come, first-served order based on the time at which teams filled out the form.

The list of teams with standby status is not the same as the official waitlist for entry into the tournament. Teams on the official waitlist may also apply to be standby teams.

Teams may register for standby status by emailing NSC Tournament Director Ben Weiner (tournament.director@pace-nsc.org).

Fees and Payment

  • Base fee: $845 per team (note that this is per team, not per school)
  • Buzzer systems*: –$15 each per buzzer system, max 1 system per team
  • Staffers: –$50 each per staffer, max 2 staffers per school
  • Hosting a gold-certified tournament: –$10 each per tournament, no limit
  • Hosting a platinum-certified tournament: –$20 each per tournament, no limit

*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 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 deposit at registration. PACE will count the $100 deposit towards the registration fee. If your team’s registration will be paid in full by the team’s school or school district, but another group (such as the students and/or coach) fronted the deposit, PACE can reimburse your team $100 in the event of an overpayment.

If a registered team withdraws from the tournament:

  • The deposit is fully refundable (minus $5 processing fee) until March 15, 2023.
  • The deposit is half-refundable (minus $5 processing fee) until March 31, 2023.
  • After March 31, 2023, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • After April 30, 2023, the full payment is non-refundable.

Teams are eligible for refunds if a late cancellation due to COVID-19 quarantine is required by CDC guidelines.

All registration payments, online or by mailed check, must be received by May 10, 2023. For each day your payment is not received after May 10, a $15 fee will be added to your entry fee. If your payment is not received by May 21, 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 hsquizbowl.org forums.

For specific questions about the fee structure or payment methods, please contact PACE Treasurer Mike Bentley at mbentleypace@gmail.com.

Payment may be made securely online via PayPal, or in the form of a check made out to “Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence” sent to:

Michael Bentley
5603 125th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

Hotel Block

PACE has an agreement with the Hyatt Regency O’Hare that provides teams with discounted hotel room rates during the tournament. When teams book using the group booking link, rooms with two double beds are available at a rate of $172/night with parking also available at the discounted rate of $20/night. Book your hotel room online using the link posted above or by calling the Hyatt Regency O’Hare directly at (847) 696-1234.

Wildcard teams

Note: after March 1st, 2023, the section below became inapplicable as any team can now apply regardless of qualification.

Teams that have not qualified for the NSC can submit a wild card bid starting on January 1, 2023. Additionally, a school that has qualified its A Team for the NSC can submit wild card bids for additional teams (B team, C team, etc.) if those additional teams from the same school have not qualified through other means.

After January 1st, 2023, teams may submit a wildcard bid by emailing PACE’s Wild Card Coordinator at wildcard@pace-nsc.org with the following: team name, contact information, and a summary of the team’s accomplishments throughout the year.

The PACE Wild Card Committee will then determine whether to grant this team entry into the NSC and return a decision to the team within three weeks of receiving the application.

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 as such. (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.) While this has been implicitly true for wild card bids over the past few years, this is now official PACE policy.