Thank you for your interest in The International History Bee and Bowl’s Canadian Division! We’re excited to introduce history quiz tournaments to Canada and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how our tournaments work and how you can take part. The International History Bee and Bowl were founded in the USA in 2010, and we launched our Canadian Division in 2014. We have already seen over 2000 schools and over 100,000 students from across Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand take part. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in:
Q: What’s the difference between the Bee and the Bowl?
A: Real simple here – the Bee is for individual students; the Bowl is for teams. We run both competitions at different times so that all students who wish to compete in both can do so.
Q: What language are the tournaments held in?
A: All tournaments that you see displayed on this website are in English.
Q: Which types of schools/students can compete?
A: Any primary or secondary school is welcome to compete as long as it has students in 12th grade (and CEGEP 1 in Québec) or younger. Our tournaments are designed to be accessible to Canadian schools, international schools, state schools, private schools, religious schools and homeschool associations. We are an equal opportunity quiz organizer!
Q: I’m not sure about a history tournament. I’m more of a science/literature/arts/philosophy/geography/sports/music/whatever person.
A: Our approach to history is highly inclusive, so don’t worry, you’ll still find questions for you! We like to say that if it happened in the past and it’s historically significant, it can come up in a question. Expect questions on everything from Einstein to Ethiopia, Plato to Pele, Beethoven to the Beatles, in addition to the usual wars, revolutions, and the like.
Q: How do you answer the questions?
A: Our questions follow different formats, but for most questions, you’ll ring in with a buzzer, like on a quiz show. The questions that you use a buzzer for are called “pyramidal” questions. This means that they start off with harder information and become easier as the question goes on. When you think you know the answer, ring in! But if you’re wrong, then you can’t answer again, and neither can your teammates if you’re playing in the Bowl. This type of question rewards comprehensive knowledge and shows that this is much more than a mere trivia contest.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: Teachers, administrators, and parents should use the Register tab on the menu bar to access the registration page. There, just fill out the form for your school. If your school is bringing more than 6 students, then you should sign up for more than one team. Once you register, we’ll send instructions for how to submit payment. You can also fill out the History Bee registration form, though the History Bee is optional, and you can also sign up for it on the day of the tournament.
Q: What are the divisions?
A: The Varsity Division is for students in 11th and 12th grade (and CEGEP 1 in Québec). The Junior Varsity (JV) division is for students in 9th and 10th grade. The Middle Division is meant for students in 7th and 8th grade. The Elementary Division is for 6th grade and younger. Younger students may always play on a higher-level team. If your school does not correspond to a standard Canadian system, then students in the final two years of secondary school will be considered Varsity, the next two will be JV, the next two will be Middle and younger than that is Elementary. Each age group will play for a separate title at each tournament, though they may also play a few higher division teams in the process. In the Bee, students playing in each division will be kept entirely separate. This ensures that younger students have a more equal playing field.
Q: Do I have to play in the tournament at the site closest to us/in our province?
A: You can play at whichever site you like. A school in British Columbia, for example, can play in Alberta.
Q: Can we play more than once at the regional level?
A: You can play once on each set of questions.
Q: Is there a Canadian Championship?
A:Yes! We have held the Canadian Championships annually since 2015. For the most up to date information on the Championships, see the Championships page.
Q: What is the International History Olympiad?
A: IAC also organizes the International History Olympiad which is an extended biennial competition for the top history students from around the world. The next International History Olympiad will be held in 2025. Canadian students can qualify through the approaches listed here in Section 1A.