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.

PACE will recognize Junior Varsity (JV) and Small School teams, depending on the number of teams who receive such designations.

The tournament will be directed by Ryan Rosenberg. The question set will be head edited by Rob Carson.


The field for the 2018 NSC is capped at 96 teams. A list of registered teams is available.

You can check the guidelines for: how to qualify, where you can qualify, and whether your team is currently qualified.

Registration for all qualified teams opened on November 1, 2017.

Tournament Format

A description of the tournament format is available here (PDF).

Tournament Description

The Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence National Scholastic Championship, or PACE NSC, is a national quizbowl tournament respected throughout the quizbowl community which attracts the best teams from across the United States and beyond. PACE, the organization which runs the tournament, is a nonprofit which engages in a variety of activities to promote quizbowl.

In recent years, the PACE NSC has featured 96 teams and taken place over two days. All teams are guaranteed at least 15 matches that count towards their final standing, with the top fourth of teams playing an additional 3 matches. Each team is in a round robin pool Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning. Each team plays twelve matches on Saturday.

Each match in the tournament features 20 tossups, and a bonus for each tossup answered correctly. The tossups are about 750 characters in length, which allows for many clues to differentiate between the full range of teams at the tournament. Bouncebacks are allowed on bonus parts, so teams can earn points even when their opponent answers the tossup.

The question distribution at NSC has a focus on academic subjects, most notably History, Literature, and Science. There are also three tossups and three bonuses each round in Fine Arts, and there are no Pop Culture questions. PACE NSC questions are put together by experienced writers and editors who usually have performed well at collegiate quizbowl. We place a high priority on question quality, and we encourage teams to look at our questions from past years, which are freely available in the Quizbowl Packet Archive.

Teams can qualify for the NSC by performing well in any quizbowl tournament. The percentage of teams qualifying for NSC from a local tournament depends on the quality of the local tournament.

The Friday night just before the PACE NSC features the David Riley Coaches Conference, during which top coaches and players from throughout the country give advice about getting better. There is also time set aside during the conference for interactions with the audience.

The PACE NSC is a great experience for teams who want to play high school quizbowl at its greatest level and to go up against the best teams in the country.

If you have any questions about the 2018 NSC or PACE in general, please feel free to contact Director of Communications Alex Damisch at