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General Math Bowl Rules

  • The size of the contest is limited to 64 Math Bowl teams. Each high school may enter one, three-member (plus one alternate) team into the tournament. The tournament bracket is filled based on the date each team registered, until a full complement of 64 teams has been reached. If 64 teams have not registered and paid their fees and entered their student info. online by September 25, 2015, each high school which requests math bowl teams will be permitted to enter a second team in the tournament, again determined by date of registration. At the time of registration, each high school should indicate the number of teams (1 or 2) it would like to enter. Second teams will not officially be registered to participate until after Sept. 25th, 2015. Schools will be notified of the number of Math Bowl teams they are awarded after the Sept. 25th deadline.
  • No Calculators!!
  • Answers must be in proper format and match solutions on question sheet. See "Rules for Math Bowl Answers".
  • The decision of the judge is final.

A point is awarded to a team each time it answers a question correctly in the time allotted after its buzzer sounds. Each team must lose 2 matches before it is eliminated from the tournament. Awards (school trophies, individual t-shirts and individual medals) will be given to the top two teams.

Each match must begin on time. If a team is more than 3 minutes late for the match, then the team forfeits the match. Many times several matches will be played in sequence in the same room. If a team will play its next match in the same room, it is important that THE TEAM STAYS IN THE ROOM. This will help facilitate a smoothly run contest.

Each question will be read orally, and there will be no written display of the question. Writing materials will be supplied so that students can write down important details about a question as it is read.

Each question has a 30 second time limit beginning when the judge has finished reading the question. If a team buzzes while the judge is reading a question, the judge will stop reading, the timer will begin, and the (unfinished) question must be answered immediately. Any team member may request at any time that a question be repeated, but this does not delay the clock or prevent either team from buzzing.

As soon as the judge hears the buzzer, the judge will call on the team that buzzed to answer. Any member of the buzzing team may answer, but the answer must be given within 3 seconds of the buzz. The timer will say "time" at the end of 3 seconds. Only the first answer will be accepted. Answers are subject to strict Rules for Math Bowl Answers. If the answer is correct, the timer scores a point to the team and the next question begins. If the buzzing team fails to answer the question correctly or does not answer within 3 seconds, the opposing team has an opportunity to answer the question (buzzing is not necessary), provided the 30 second time period has not expired. Again, the first answer given is the one that is accepted.

The timer will announce when 5 seconds remain in the 30 second period by saying "5 seconds”. At 30 seconds the timer will say "end."

The higher scoring team is declared the winner and proceeds to the next round. If necessary, tie-breaker questions will be used. The losing team continues in the consolation bracket if this is its first loss, or is eliminated from the contest if this is its second loss. Eventually there will be two remaining teams, one with no losses and one with one loss. These teams will compete in one or two championship rounds on a stage in front of the whole gathering. To be declared champion, the team with no losses must win once, but the team with one loss must win twice.

  • Awards will be presented after the championship round(s) at approximately 4pm in the Grand Pavilion Ballroom at Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park.
last updated: March 2016

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