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Scholastic Hi-Q Rules

1) Eligibility and Entry Procedures:

Eligibility: All accredited Illinois public or private high schools in the WSIU/WUSI viewing area are eligible to enter this televised tournament. This area encompasses the southern third of Illinois (roughly from Interstate 70 south).

Entry: High Schools participating in Scholastic Hi-Q must have competition entry approval from the high school principal, or from other authorized school personnel. High Schools will be placed in the Scholastic Hi-Q tournament on a first-come first-served basis. Entry will be based upon the date that the completed & signed entry forms arrives at WSIU-TV.

Team size: Each team will consist of 4 members. If 4 members are not present 15 minutes prior to the appointed match time, the match will be forfeited. We request that the names of the four members and any alternates be provided one week prior to the match to facilitate the creation of name signs.

No substitutions may be made during the match. Only the 4 players and their coach will be allowed in the studio during the taping. A viewing area will be available for parents and students not involved in the match, but the number should be limited to less than ten.

Transportation & Supervision: All participating high schools shall provide their own transportation to and from WSIU-TV in Carbondale and will pay their own expenses. Each high school team shall be chaperoned by a high school sponsor or coach.

2) Match Play:

The Scholastic Hi-Q tournament is based on a single-elimination tournament structure. Any high school team bested in score by a challenging high school team will be eliminated from further competition in the Scholastic Hi-Q tournament.

Each match will consist of 3 rounds and play progresses as follows:

  • ROUND 1: “Toss-Up” (appx. 12 minutes)
  • ROUND 2: “Lightning” (appx. 4 minutes)
  • ROUND 3: “Toss-Up" (appx. 10 minutes)

Toss-Ups: The toss up rounds consists of questions that have only one answer and are worth 10 points in the first and third rounds. Any team member may respond by “buzzing in.” The host will stop reading as soon as the buzzer sounds. The host will acknowledge the team member and they must answer immediately without consultation. If the question has been read in its entirety there is no penalty for an incorrect answer. Following an incorrect answer the opposing team may buzz in within three seconds. If no team answers in the allotted three seconds, the host will read the answer and the game will resume. A correct answer results in a bonus question for the team that answered the toss up correctly. The team will be read a bonus question and given time to arrive at an answer as a team. Correct bonus answers receive twenty points. If the team is unable to answer the question correctly, the opposing team is given an opportunity to rebound and answer the question. If the rebounding team answers correctly, they will receive ten points for their answer. And, play continues until the bell signals the end of the round.

Lightning: Four categories will be offered during this round. Choices may include, but will not be limited to: math, science, history, geography, art, music, literature and current events. The team that is trailing will select first. The team can confer up to five seconds before the captain selects. Once the captain selects the category, the host further explains the category and the rules for that round. Unlike the toss up rounds where a buzzer is needed, contestants just call out the answers. The first answer will be accepted (or rejected). The goal is to get through all 10 questions in one minute. No rebounding will be allowed for missed questions in this round.

Interruption: If any team member rings in before the host has completed asking a toss up and their response is incorrect, 5 points will be awarded to the opposing team at that time by the host. They will then have the opportunity to hear the question in its entirety, and are then given three seconds to buzz in. If they answer correctly, they will be awarded 10 points like normal. It is therefore possible to capitalize on a tactical error by the team that buzzes in early for a total of 15 points. The interruption rules do not apply in the lightning round or during bonus questions.

End of Round: There will be a bell sounding the end of the toss up rounds, and the lighting round music will stop to signal the end of the lightning round. The host will announce the score at the end of each round. Scoring and Timing: The host will award points during the contest. The scorekeeper will record and tally points. The scores will be displayed on a monitor next to the host. At the end of round three the final total will be announced. The team with the highest point total will be declared the winner of the match. The score is considered official two minutes after the match, unless contested.

3) Judges:

There will be at least one judge presiding over each contest. The judge will validate questions and determine whether or not the answer given is acceptable, and if the answer is given in the allotted time. The judge will also be responsible for verifying the score.

Since the format of Scholastic Hi-Q is considered taped coverage of a live event, all rulings will be made on the spot and are not subject to review or change. In these matters or any other matters regarding this contest, the Judge(s) and/or the Coordinating Producer’s decision is final.

4) Protests:

No protests regarding the appropriateness of answers or game play will be considered: The Judge(s) and/or the Coordinator Producer’s decision at that time is final!!! Protests pertaining to the accuracy of scoring can be made in writing to the judge during the contest or verbally up to two minutes after. The judge and scorekeeper will confer. If this protest is deemed valid and affects the outcome of the game, the tally of the final score and pronouncement of the winner will be rerecorded and the program edited.

5) Tie-Breaker:

In the event of a tie at the end of the final round, a sudden-death tie-breaker toss-up round will occur. The first team to answer a toss-up question correctly wins. It is also possible to win if your opponent interrupts a question and responds incorrectly.

6) Cheating:

The use of any notes, references, or outside help from spectators or coaches is NOT permitted. If the host asks to have an answer repeated, the original answer must be repeated. The host will ask for a repeat only when he/she could not hear the answer. This is not intended to give the team a chance to change their answer. Changing the answer is considered cheating. In cases where cheating occurs, the judge will have the discretion to disqualify the offending team and they will forfeit the match. The program will still be broadcast but an explanation by the host for the disqualification will be edited to the end of the program.

7) Strategy:

The questions are designed to reveal information as they are read. If you are certain that you know the answer, buzz in early and risk an interruption penalty. If you are not certain, don’t risk the penalty. With evenly-matched teams, risking interruption could mean the difference between winning and losing. The ultimate example of risking an interruption would be during a tie-breaker toss-up. Answer correctly and you win! Answer incorrectly and you automatically lose.

8) TV Pointers:

  • Do not talk unless you are responding to a question or conferring.
  • When buzzing in, wait until the host acknowledges you as the respondent before answering.
  • Conduct yourself properly at all times: microphones are open continuously and the audience may hear what you say when conferring or when someone else is answering. If a contestant’s behavior becomes a problem the Executive Producers of Scholastic Hi-Q will talk to the parties involved and have the right to take any actions they deem appropriate.
  • Only write on the blue sheets of paper provided, and not on the set. Also, only write during a math question or during a bonus question so the loud noises of the pencils do not disturb the audience.
  • Avoid wearing white garments, as it is difficult to for television cameras to make accurate representations of flesh tones when high contrast clothing is worn. Some tight plaid patterns, stripes, and checks can also cause problems for the cameras.
  • Dress in summer-weight clothing, as the lights keep it quite warm in the studio.
  • There is no restroom breaks during the taping of a show so please go to the bathroom once you arrive to the set, or go after the episode has finished. Each contest goes straight from rounds one to three so there is no time for a bathroom break. The episode is only 26 minutes long.