Bible Quiz Fellowship Tournament Rules
I. Purpose for these rules
The ministries participating in this program have seen the need for unified rules that can be applied at any
Regional or National tournament in which more than one of the ministries of Bible Quiz Fellowship participates.
These are not necessarily suggested local rules, but can be reproduced freely and used in that way by anyone
participating in Bible Quiz Fellowship. Bible Quizzing is designed to encourage people to memorize and meditate
on the Scriptures, to provide healthy competition and to build Christian character.
II. Purpose for Bible Quizzing
Bible Quizzing has the purpose of fulfilling part of the Great Commission, as found in Matthew 28:20
“...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” We believe that helping people to
memorize and meditate upon the commands of Jesus will help them to obey His commands. The
Psalmist pointed this out when he said; “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin
against you.” Ps. 119:11.
III. Who can quiz?
A. A team will consist of between five and seven quizzers. A quizzer must have turned 11 but not have turned
20 before the beginning of the National Tournament. In addition, a quizzer may only participate in the national
tournament for a total of eight consecutive years. (i.e. if a quizzer begins to quiz at age 11, and quizzes four
years, then skips a year, he/she will have only three years of eligibility remaining).
B. Each team must submit a lineup card designating one adult coach and one captain, and listing the names of
the coach and all team members, along with their seating order. Coaches may enlist assistants, but assistants
are not permitted to challenge decisions, or interfere with the progress of the quiz in any way. Refusal to submit
a correct lineup will result in a technical foul. Submission of an incorrect lineup that is not corrected before the
first question of the quiz is read will also result in a technical foul.
C. Team uniforms are not required, but are suggested. Clothing should be such as to be modest when sitting,
even on a raised platform or stage. Shorts may not be worn for Bible Quizzing.
For each quiz, the tournament directors will designate a minimum of three officials. These officials will
include at least one Quizmaster, at least one Scorekeeper, and one Timekeeper.
IV. The Quizmaster
A. The quizmaster is responsible for governing all aspects of the quiz. He/she will:
1. Check all the lights before each quiz to determine that they work properly.
2. Instruct the timekeeper to start and stop the clock, calling “time in” and “time out” as appropriate.
The quizmaster may permit the timekeeper the discretion to stop the clock at other times, if appropriate.
3. Read the questions during the quiz. The quizmaster will read each question only once, and will make
every effort to stop reading the instant a light comes on indicating that a quizzer has jumped to answer
the question. The quizmaster may not repeat part or all of a question for a quizzer.
4. Determine and indicate who has the right to answer each question.
5. Determine whether an answer is correct (twenty points) or an error. Twenty points should be awarded
as soon as the quiz master determines the correct question and answer has been given fully and
completely. An error should be awarded as soon as any incorrect information has been given, even if the
answer is not yet complete.
6. Call any fouls noticed in the course of the quiz.
7. If time has run off the clock inappropriately for any reason, the quizmaster may instruct the timekeeper
to restore time to the clock at the quizmaster’s discretion.
8. Work hard to ensure that each quiz stays on schedule and finishes on time.
B. If more than one quizmaster is assigned to a quiz, quizmasters should be designated as “primary” and
“backup.” The primary quizmaster will then have final authority in all decisions. Backup quizmasters will assist
in calling fouls, making decisions about correctness of answers and in all others ways assisting the primary
quizmaster in judging the quiz correctly. Except for emergencies, Primary and Backup quizmasters should not
switch roles during the course of a single quiz, but should switch roles between quizzes when more than one
quiz is required.
V. The Scorekeeper(s)
A. The scorekeeper will maintain the official scoring records for the quiz on paper or computer. He/she will:
1. Make appropriate tally marks as the quiz progresses, indicating errors, fouls, bonuses, technical fouls,
timeouts and correct answers on the official score sheet. The scorekeeper must indicate, on the score
sheet, which points were scored in overtime, and these points will not be included in team bracket points
or individual averages.
2. Tally and announce the team scores at halftime and at the end of the quiz. He/she may also keep a
running score if desired.
3. Notify the quizmaster when a quizzer has quizzed out or errored out of the quiz.
4. Notify each team when they receive their third and sixth team errors, and when five, six or
seven people from the same team have answered correctly.
5. Assist the quizmaster in calling fouls and in judging the correctness of jumps and answers.
B. If more than one scorekeeper is assigned to a quiz, scorekeepers should tally and agree on the official score
before announcing the final results of a quiz. Scorekeepers can also consult each other if scores or tallies are
VI. The Timekeeper
A. The timekeeper will operate a time clock or stopwatch during the quiz. He/she will:
1. Keep regulation time for two six minute halves, keep overtime time for each overtime period, and keep
time for each time out. This timekeeping will follow the instructions of the quizmaster to “time in,” “time
out,” or restore time to the clock.
2. Notify the quizmaster if a quizzer does not begin to answer within five seconds of being called upon.
3. Notify the quizmaster if a quizzer has not finished their answer within the allowed 20 or 30 seconds.
4. Assist the quizmaster in calling fouls and in judging the correctness of jumps and answers.
VII. Basic rules and format of the quiz
A. A quiz will consist of all the questions the quizmaster can read within two six-minute halves. In case of a tie
score, overtime periods may be added. The first overtime period will be two minutes long, the rest will be one
minute each until the quiz is decided.
B. Three teams will compete at the same time in each quiz, sitting on chairs fitted with electronic pads to help
the quizmaster determine which quizzer was the first to jump. (These should be as similar as possible to the
pads marketed by Acme Quiz Products.) Audience members, coaches, assistants and substitutes should sit
generally behind the quizmaster. No one except table officials should be sitting close enough to the quiz
official’s table that they may be able to read the questions. No one may sit in front of the table officials’ table
except the fifteen active quizzers.
1. The first quizzer to jump will be called on by the quizmaster and must answer the question.
2. If no quizzer jumps within three seconds after the quizmaster has finished reading the question, the
quizmaster will close the question by saying “no question.”
3. If a quizzer jumps before a question has been completely read, the quizmaster will direct the quizzer to
“Finish the question.” This wording will be used for both types of questions.
4. If time (for a half or overtime period) runs out during a question, but after the quizmaster has read the
Scripture reference for that question, the first quizzer to jump must answer the question, and is allowed
the full 20 or 30 seconds.
5. If time (for a half or overtime period) runs out during a question, but before the quizmaster has finished
reading the Scripture reference for that question, the question is thrown out and the quiz is ended.
6. If a question (including quotes) has been either repeated as a mistake by the quizmaster or printed
twice in a quiz, it should be thrown out and time put back on the clock.
C. Two types of questions will be used. These will follow as closely as possible the rules spelled out in the
“BQF Guide to Making Questions.” Questions will be based on the 2011 English Standard Version of the Bible.
In general, the questions will follow these formats:
1. Interrogative questions will consist of an interrogative word replacing a key word or phrase from the
Scriptures. These will be asked by the quizmaster as follows, “Question, according to (book), chapter,
verse, ...” To answer these correctly:
a. quizzer must supply the correct interrogative word (occasionally, another interrogative word may be
good enough if the meaning of the question is unchanged), and the quizzer must clearly supply the
correct and complete question and answer. Only the first question and answer supplied by the quizzer
may be considered, but if no incorrect information is given, a quizzer may add more information to
make the first question and answer correct, as long as the quizzer finishes within the twenty second
b. In some cases, a quizzer may receive twenty points if a “flip-flop” is awarded. This means that the
quizzer has given the question as the answer and the answer as a question.
c. A quizzer must not include any information except what that particular Scripture reference actually
says, and whatever helping verbs are necessary to make the question grammatically workable.
d. A quizzer must begin to answer within five seconds and finish the answer within twenty seconds
after being called upon by the Quizmaster.
2. Quote questions will be based on quote verses. Verses that may serve as quotes will be indicated in
the practice questions supplied by Bible Quiz Fellowship. These questions will be asked as follows,
“Question, according to (book) chapter, verse, ‘quote.’” The quizzer will then quote the entire verse. To
a. A quizzer must quote the entire verse, word for word and letter perfectly, within 30seconds after
being called upon by the quizmaster.
b. A quizzer must begin to answer within five seconds of being called upon. If a quiz master says
“Finish the question” on a quote question, the quizzer must say “Quote” within 20 seconds. The quizzer
would still have the full 30 seconds for the quote.
c. A quizzer may go back and repeat part or all of the verse, provided that no incorrect information is
given, and no words are spoken in the wrong order.
d. Approximately 15 percent of the questions should be quote questions.
e. If a Quiz Master says “Finish the question” on a quote question, the quizzer must say quote before
they start quoting the verse.
f. The singular possessive proper names that end in “s” as written in the 2011 ESV quiz portion, i.e.,
“Jesus’ feet” will be accepted when pronounced either way.
VIII. During the quiz
A. The role of the Coach is to encourage the team, provide strategy and make substitutions. During the quiz:
1. Coaches must provide a lineup for the table officials before each quiz.
2. Coaches may make substitutions at any time after points are awarded and before the quizmaster says
“question.” Coaches must call out “Substitution,” at which time the quizmaster should call time out and
allow the substitution.
3. Coaches should pray with and encourage their team during the 60 second break between halves of the
4. Coaches may call one 15 second “Time Out” at any time during the quiz, after points have been
awarded and before the quizmaster says “question.” Only the coach may approach the active quizzers
during a time out.
5. Coaches must indicate who will replace a quizzer who has quizzed out or errored out.
6. Coaches may offer or rebut a challenge when external distractions disrupt a quizzer, when a question
contains typing errors, incorrect information or other types of errors, when the quizmaster reads a
question incorrectly, or an error has been awarded. If a coach’s challenge is not upheld, that coach loses
the privilege to challenge again in the quiz. This request should be directed at the quizmaster after points
are awarded, but before the next question. The decision of the quizmaster is final.
B. The role of the team Captain is to provide leadership for the team. Besides answering questions:
1. A captain may challenge a question or answer if information given in the question or answer is
incorrect, or if the question contains typing errors, or was read incorrectly by the quizmaster.
2. A captain may challenge an error if external distractions or other factors disrupted the quiz while a
quizzer was attempting to answer.
3. Any challenge should be made immediately. Reasonably prompt challenges take priority over
substitutions, team time outs, halftimes or any other break in the quiz.
4. If appropriate, opposing captains should be given an opportunity to rebut a challenge.
5. In all challenges, quizzers should maintain an attitude of respect and kindness as is fitting for a
6. Once a quizmaster has considered the challenge, looked up the reference and rendered a decision,
that decision is final. No further challenges are permitted on that issue.
C. Quizzers may score or lose points in the following ways:
1. For each correct answer, a quizzer earns 20 points.
2. When a team has five different people answer correctly in the same quiz, an extra 20 points is added to
the team total. This also applies when six and seven quizzers answer correctly.
3. If a quizzer answers five questions correctly with no errors, he/she has “quizzed out, perfect score.”
The quizzer is awarded a bonus ten points, and is eliminated from the quiz.
4. If a quizzer answers five questions correctly, but has received one or more errors, he/she has “quizzed
out,” and is eliminated from the quiz, but no bonus points are awarded.
5. A quizzer earns an error by answering incorrectly, or by receiving two fouls. Errors follow these rules:
a. When a quizzer receives his or her third error, he/she is eliminated from the quiz, having “erred
b. A team’s first three errors are “free.”
c. For team errors 4, 5 and 6, ten points each will be deducted from the team score.
d. For each error after the sixth, 20 points will be deducted from the team score.
e. If one quizzer receives two fouls, that combines to count as an error.
f. If two different quizzers have one foul each, that combines to count as a team error.
D. Fouls are called using the following rules:
1. A foul is given for disruption of the quiz while the clock is running.
2. A foul is given for communication with a quizzer after the quizmaster says “question,” and before points
3. A foul is given if a quizzer’s hands touch the chair seat, or touch another quizzer during a question.
4. A foul is given when a quizzer answers out of turn, or without being called upon:
a. If a quizzer answers when a member of an opposing team was called on, the quizzer is given a foul
and the member of the opposing team may answer the question at the discretion of the quizmaster.
b. If a quizzer answers when a member of his/her team was called on, the quizzer is given a foul and
the question must be thrown out.
E. If a quizzer’s light comes on or stays on after the quizmaster finishes saying the word “question,” but the
quizzer does not rise to full stature in one continuous motion and attempt to answer the question, one of the
following must be done:
1. A foul must be awarded if the light came on before the quizmaster read any part of the reference. The
question can then be reused, and any quizzer may answer.
2. An error must be awarded if the light comes on after the quizmaster begins to read the reference. The
question must then be thrown out.
F. A quiz will not end on a foul.
G. If a team or individual is awarded a technical foul, ten points are deducted from that team’s score. If a
second technical is awarded to the same person in the same quiz, ten points are deducted from the team
score, that person is disqualified, eliminated from the quiz and finishes the quiz with zero personal points (any
points added to the team score will be removed). If a team receives a total of three technical fouls on any
combination of coaches, quizzers or cheering section, that team is disqualified and eliminated from the quiz in
last place with zero points and zero bracket points. Technical fouls are awarded for:
1. Failure to submit a correct lineup before the quiz, as detailed above in III. B.
2. Persistent or inappropriate challenges.
3. Unsportsmanlike conduct, or any conduct unbecoming of a Christian by any member of the team.
4. Inappropriate cheering at any time or communication while a quizzer is attempting to answer by any
member of a cheering section.
5. If a team purposely delays giving the correct answers with the apparent intent of stalling to protect a
lead in a quiz, that team will be given a technical foul and the wasted time will be restored to the clock.
6. If a team is not at the scheduled quiz site on time, and is not still engaged in or coming from a previous
quiz (to be checked by the quizmaster), the quizmaster will start the quiz. If the team arrives late, a
technical foul is awarded and the team may join the quiz in progress. If a team arrives later than halftime,
they may join the quiz with one technical, but will finish in third place regardless of their score.
7. Time remaining may only be asked for the by the captain or coach when the clock is stopped. Any
other request for time remaining will be assessed a technical foul.
IX. Tournament format
A. Tournament will be governed by the “Tournament Rule Guidelines”
B. The Bible Quiz Fellowship committee will decide upon rule changes.
Tournament Rule Guidelines
I. Tournament format
A. Bracket points will be calculated during the round robin portion of a tournament to determine the
“seeding” placement of each team in the elimination bracket. The following basis will be used to
calculate bracket points:
1. Ten bracket points will be awarded for a first place finish.
2. Six bracket points will be awarded for a second place finish.
3. Two bracket points will be awarded for a third place finish.
4. One percent of the team score for each quiz will be added to the bracket points. For purposes of
calculating bracket points or individual averages, points scored in an overtime period are not
5. If there is a tie in bracket points by teams after the round robin portion of the tournament, the tie
shall be broken in the following order:
a. Higher finish in head-to-head quiz during round robin
b. Placement Points during the round robin
c. Most First Place finishes during round robin
d. Most Second Place finishes during round robin
e. Coin flip with the Tournament Director calling which team is “heads” and which team is “tails”
before he flips the coin.
B. The Championship
1. The three teams in the championship shall be determined by the elimination bracket.
2. The championship quizzes shall consist of a series with a minimum of two quizzes and a
maximum of four quizzes.
3. The first team to finish in first place in two quizzes shall be declared to be the champions of the
4. Second place shall be determined by the most bracket points among the other two teams in the
5. If there is a tie in bracket points by the other two teams in the championship, the tie shall be
broken in the following order to determine the second place team:
a. Placement Points in the championship
b. First Place finishes in the championship
c. Second Place finishes in the championship
d. Total points scored in the championship
e. Least amount of errors in championship
6. The Quizmasters for the championship shall be chosen in the following manner:
a. The Tournament Director shall make a list of all the number one rated quizmasters that are not
from one of the participating ministries in the championship. He shall contact each of these
quizmasters to see if they would be willing to serve in this capacity for the championship. He shall
then make a list of all those quizmasters willing to serve in the championship. The Tournament
Director shall then take this list to the head coach from each team in the championship as soon
as possible before the championship.
b. Each team selects one quiz master.
c. Tournament director select the balance randomly to have a total of 4 QMs.
d. The QMs chosen by the 3 teams will be drawn randomly and will Quizmaster 1st. Then the
remaining of the 4 QMs will be randomly drawn from the #1 ranked QMs and will Quizmaster the
remaining Championship quizzes.
7. Seating for the teams in the championship shall be determined as follows:
a. The team which qualified for the championship in the first window quiz shall have first choice of
seats for the first quiz in the championship.
b. The team which qualified for the championship in the second window quiz shall have the next
choice from the remaining two seats for the first quiz in the championship.
c. The team which qualified for the championship in the third window quiz shall sit in the
remaining seats for the first quiz in the championship.
d. The teams shall then rotate clockwise (to the right from the perspective of the quizmaster/to the
left from the perspective of the quizzers) for the remaining quizzes in the championship.