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Quiz Bowl Eligibility and Competition Rules and Regulations

Listed are rules that govern quiz bowl competitions, the makeup of teams, and other important information.

The Farm Safety and Health Quiz Bowl is an exciting and fun educational program to motivate youth to increase their awareness and knowledge of agricultural safety and health. The quiz bowl is for teams representing 4-H and FFA groups. Teams from around the state compete in a quiz show format that requires the team members to learn about farm safety and health hazards and recommended practices. The competitions allow team members to practice leadership and public speaking skills. The 4-H clubs and FFA chapters of team members benefit from monetary awards that come from participation in this program.

Listed below are rules that govern quiz bowl competitions, the makeup of teams, and other important information.

Competition Events

  • The 4-H and FFA events are conducted as separate competitions.
  • 4-H will compete first in years ending in an even number. FFA will compete first in years ending with an odd number.
  • A semi-final competition will be held each August during the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Ag Progress Days event.  Eight teams representing 4-H and eight teams representing FFA will compete for the right to advance to the following January Farm Show State Finals competition. Four teams from each group will advance. The teams with the four highest scores from 4-H and from FFA will advance.
  • If a winning team from the Ag Progress Days event cannot participate in the following Farm Show State Finals competition, and this is made known sufficiently in advance, the team with the next highest score from the Ag Progress Days event will be invited. If this team cannot participate, additional teams will be invited, based upon their score, until a replacement team is secured.
  • For the Farm Show, the teams will be seeded based on their scores at APD. The order of contests will be:
    • 1st contest between teams seeded 2 and 3
    • 2nd contest between teams seeded 1 and 4
    • 3rd contest between the lowest scoring teams of contests 1 and 2 for 3rd and 4th places
    • 4th contest between winners of contests 1 and 2 for 1st and 2nd places
  • Financial and other gifts will be awarded as available. Any team leaving before the awards ceremony following the competition forfeits all financial and other gifts to be awarded.
  • Each Quiz Bowl event will consist of three rounds of competition, plus a tiebreaker round if needed. The rules for these rounds are explained below.
  • No videotaping of the quiz bowl competitions will be allowed.
  • There should be no interaction or communications between team members and coaches/advisors or the audience during a competition.
  • Teams should adhere to established FFA and 4-H dress codes for both competition events.
    • 4-H team members must follow the 4-H dress code for state events. At APD the dress for the day is casual. This means jeans, khakis, and walking shorts (mid-thigh or longer) are acceptable. Not acceptable are cut-offs; badly worn jeans; t-shirts depicting drug, alcohol or sexually oriented slogans; tube tops; tank tops with straps smaller than 2 inches; and strapless or backless shirts. There should be no exposure of undergarments. Teams are requested to wear matching shirts if possible. For Farm Show, dress is professional casual which means for males slacks or khakis, and shirts with a collar. For females skirts (mid-thigh or longer) or dress slacks including khakis with blouse or sweater; or dresses (mid-thigh or longer). Tops must not be strapless or backless. Teams should again be identified by common shirts, vests, or jackets if possible.
    • FFA members should follow the casual dress code for Ag Progress Days and the Official FFA Dress code at the Farm Show. Dress code specifics may be obtained from FFA advisors.
  • At Ag Progress Days, to determine the order of competitions and specific opponents, a drawing will be held prior to the scheduled start time at a Pre-Competition meeting. Teams will have their names written on a slip of paper and placed in a small container.  An independent observer will draw out one name at a time.  The first two names drawn will be opponents in the first game, the second two names drawn will be opponents in the second game, and so on.
  • In the case of an uneven number of teams at the APD event, or with less than eight teams competing in each of the groups (e.g., eight 4-H teams, eight FFA teams), the teams to advance to the State Finals competition will be determined as follows:
    • Four or fewer teams: all would advance. (Teams would play for seeding)
    • Five teams: the lowest scoring team from the first two games would play the bye team. The four highest scoring teams would advance.
    • Six teams: the four highest scoring teams from the three games would advance.
    • Seven teams: the lowest scoring team from the first three games would play the bye team. The four highest scoring teams would advance.
  • At APD if two teams are tied among the four highest scoring teams, or there is a tie between the 4th and 5th highest scoring teams, the tie will be broken by playing a Tie Breaker Round.
  • If there are only three teams at the Farm Show the order of contests would be as follows:
    • The 1st seeded team would play the 3rd seeded team
    • The 2nd seeded team would play the lowest scoring team of the first game. The lowest scoring team of this game would be awarded 3rd place.
    • The winners of the 1st and 2nd games would play for 1st and 2nd places.
  • Any challenge to score keeping, time allotted for an answer, or other procedural issue must be made immediately to the Score Judge. The decision of the Event Judge regarding any challenge is final.
  • All appeals regarding decisions made at Ag Progress Days or Farm Show must be submitted in writing within 7 days to the Quiz Bowl Advisory Committee for review. The appeal should be sent to Dennis Murphy at djm13@psu.edu.

Team Eligibility

  • Teams consist of 4 persons. A team may, but is not required to, have up to two substitute members. The team advisor and the names of team members, including substitutes, must be submitted in writing to the Event Judge at the pre-competition meeting on the day of the event.
  • The 4-H and FFA events are conducted as separate competitions. Therefore a person could be on both a 4-H and an FFA team at the same time.
  • 4-H team members must be in the 9th to 12th grades as of August 1 in the competition year, and be registered 4-H club members from a single county.
  • A county may have more than one 4-H team but an individual may not be a member of more than one 4-H team.
  • FFA team members must be in the 9th to 12th grades and enrolled in a vocational agriculture chapter and be from a single chapter.
  • An FFA chapter may have more than one team but an individual may not be a member of more than one FFA team.
  • The members from the team that wins the Farm Show State Finals competition will not be allowed to compete in the following Ag Progress Days semi-final competition but could come back if still eligible in two years. A member that is listed as a substitute but does not actually compete in the state finals is still eligible to compete in the following Ag Progress Days semi-final competition.

Substitutions and Absences

  • Teams that advance from the Ag Progress Days semi-final competition to the Farm Show State Finals can use up to two substitute members at the Farm Show competition.
  • For the Ag Progress Days semi-final competition, if a scheduled team does not have at least three team members and advisor present at the pre-competition meeting, the team(s) that is (are) late will be assigned to the last round of the competition and will begin the first round of competition (Round A) with minus 50 points (-50 pts). A late arriving team can advance to the Farm Show if their final score places them among the top 4 scores even after starting with negative points.
  • Any team with less than three members present at the time of their scheduled competition automatically, either at Ag Progress Days or at the Farm Show, forfeits that competition and their scheduled opponent automatically advances to the next competition event.  There are no exceptions for bad weather, traffic delays, or other last minute emergencies.
  • A team may not use substitutes once a competition event between two teams begins, nor between two competition events.

Rules For Challenge Round A

  • Questions are worth 5 points each for the correct answer. No points will be deducted for incorrect answers. If a team buzzes to give an answer but then does not provide an answer before the allotted time, the other team is given the opportunity to answer the question.
  • The Round will last for 15 minutes or 30 questions, whichever occurs first.
  • Once the question is read, the team has 15 seconds to hit the buzzer to answer the question.
  • The team member that hit the buzzer first has to provide the answer to the question.
  • Teammates can confer before answering the question (within the 15 seconds time).
  • A team member can ask for the question to be repeated (the emcee may repeat the question if there is hesitation by teams in buzzing to answer the question).
  • A team member may hit the buzzer before a question is asked completely but then has to answer the question based on that portion of the question.
  • If one team gives an incorrect answer, the other team is given the opportunity to answer the question. There is no penalty if the team chooses not to answer the question.

Team Round

  • The Team Round will occur only at the Farm Show event and only between teams that are competing for 1st and 2nd places and 3rd and 4th places.
  • The Team Round will consist of a problem solving question.
  • Five problem questions on a full sheet of paper will be prepared and placed in separate envelopes.
  • Two copies of the question will be in the envelope so that each team has the same problem to solve.
  • Only one problem question will be used. The team with the highest score after Round A will draw the envelope.
  • Each team will have 90 seconds to solve the problem.
  • At the end of 90 seconds, the problem question will be collected from each team.
  • The judge will announce the results.
  • 15 points will be awarded for the correct answer. No points will be deducted for an incorrect answer (or no answer)
  • Calculators capable of sufficient math functions to solve the problems will be supplied.
  • The problem questions will have only one correct answer that is arrived at mathematically. No partial credit will be given.

Rules For Challenge Round B

  • Questions are worth 10 points each for the correct answer. No points will be deducted for incorrect answers. If a team buzzes to give an answer but then does not provide an answer before the allotted time, the team will lose 5points.
  • The Round will last for 15 minutes or 30 questions, whichever occurs first.
  • Once the question is read, the team has 15 seconds to hit the buzzer to answer the question.
  • The team member that hits the buzzer first has to provide the answer to the question.
  • Teammates can confer before answering the question (within the 15 seconds time).
  • A team member can ask for the question to be repeated (the emcee may repeat the question if there is hesitation by teams in buzzing to answer the question).
  • A team member may hit the buzzer before a question is asked completely but then has to answer the question based on that portion of the question.
  • If one team gives an incorrect answer, the other team is given the opportunity to answer the question. There is no penalty if the team chooses not to answer the question.

Tie Breaker Round

If at the end of Challenge Round B the score is tied, a tiebreaker round will be conducted as follows.

  • Questions will be worth 10 points.
  • Each team will be given an equal number of opportunities to correctly answer or to miss a question.
  • The team must designate a Captain to answer the questions.
  • Once the question is read, the team captain has 15 seconds to answer the question.
  • The captain can confer with teammates before answering the question (within the 15 seconds time).
  • The team on the left of the judge will go first.
  • The team will be asked a question (questions will come from the Challenge Round B set of questions). If they answer correctly, 10 points are awarded, and the opposing team is then asked a question. If they answer correctly, 10 points are awarded. This process would continue until one team misses (or fails to answer) a question and the opposing team answers the next question correctly.
  • If a team misses a question, the opposing team will be asked a different question.

Quiz Questions

  • Quiz questions shall come from publicly available resources on farm safety and health. An official list of these resources and a sample of 100 typical quiz questions shall be made available to interested parties.
  • Questions for individual competition events will be randomly drawn from the quiz question database for each competition event. The database is the property of the Agricultural Safety and Health Program at Penn State.
  • All decisions of the judge on the correctness of answers given are final.

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Quiz Bowl Eligibility and Competition Rules and Regulations

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