Contesting Changes for National Finals

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As many of you know, starting last July at the National BQ Finals in Palm Springs, CA the Rules Committee met to discuss updating the Contesting Rules after receiving suggestions from Coaches, Officials, and Quizzers. Starting with Tournaments last October, we started incorporating the new suggestions. The Contesting Rules were “tweaked” throughout the year after each tournament.

After receiving feedback from the Coaches, Officials, and Quizzers again after Districts, and Regionals, the Rules Committee and Steering Committee, have come up with the following Contesting Rules for the 2023 Nationals Finals in St. Louis, MO.


Only the quizzer whose answer is ruled incorrect may request permission to Confer for thirty seconds with their team members who are at the table, along with their head coach, and the Scripture Portion following any necessary rereading of the question. If two quizzers from opposing teams are both ruled incorrect, both may receive permission to Confer at the same time, and both head coaches may participate.

NOTE: If a head coach calls for a contest at any point during a match——including after a Confer with their team——a 5-point team foul will be assessed. (See page 10 of the Rules: Team Fouls, No. 2)


When a team initiates a contest, the timekeeper will first set a 30-second timer.

Upon expiration, if the team has an available timeout, they may elect to use the timeout instead of continuing the contest. In this case, no additional time will be given, a timeout will be deducted, no unsuccessful contest will be given, and the match will resume.

If the team elects to continue the contest (either by starting to present before the 30 second timer expires or by stating their intention to continue after the timer expires), they will be given 2 additional minutes to present after the 30 second timer expires.

Three Unsuccessful Contests

Teams will be allowed a maximum of three unsuccessful contests. After three unsuccessful contests, a team will receive a five-point foul and not be allowed to present any more contests. No foul will be assessed for requesting additional contests. Scorekeepers should announce when a team has three unsuccessful contests. (Note that failure to announce this is not grounds for a contest.)

Multi-Issue Contests

Teams may present validity as part of a multi-issue contest. If validity is presented in a multi-issue contest, officials must vote on the validity issue first. All other contesting rules are in effect.


  1. All other conferring and contesting rules are in effect.
  2. Contact Bernie Elliot ([email protected]) with any questions.

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