Regional and State Battle Rules & Procedures

  1. There will be 16 questions at Local, Regional & State battles (8 “In which book” and 8 “Content”). The final match at Regional and State battles will consist of 32 questions.

  2. Competitions begin with a round robin pool with the top scoring teams going into a single elimination tournament. All teams play at least twice.
  3. Each team will bring a set of the OBOB books and hand them to the Moderator/Reader when they enter the room of the competition.
  4. Teams are usually made up of four members with one optional alternate, for a total of five members. Of the four competing members, one will serve as the spokesperson throughout each battle. Alternate members will sit in a designated area during battles.
  5. Two teams will compete during a single battle. A coin toss will be held before the start of each battle. The winning team decides where they want to sit. Efforts will be made to ensure teams can quietly discuss answers among themselves without fear of being overheard by the other competing team(s).
  6. The team that sits on the left OF THE MODERATOR will always be given first chance at the odd numbered questions, and the team on the right will always be given first chance at the even questions.
  7. The Moderator/Reader will review the rules with the participating teams and find out who is serving as the spokesperson for each team. Answers will be accepted only from that spokesperson; no other team member's answer shall be heard or recorded during that battle.
  8. The "odd" team (on the Moderator/Reader's left) will go first and be read question number one.
  9. The Moderator/Reader will shuffle the question cards, The Moderator/Reader will ask a question, prefacing the question with the name of the team it is directed to.  Timing starts immediately after the question has been read for the first time. Teams will have 15 seconds to quietly discuss the question among themselves. Only the first answer the spokesperson gives will be accepted--the team cannot use up the time left to guess other answers.
  10. Discussion must stop as soon as time is called and the question must be answered immediately. If the spokesperson doesn’t immediately begin to answer, the moderator turns to the other team and reads the question to them.
  11. During a battle, a team’s spokesperson may request a repeat of a question. All repeats must take place within the time limit, which starts after the question is read for the first time.
  12. In which Book questions will be read first. Three points will be awarded for the correct title and 2 points for the correct author. Book titles and authors must be stated as listed on the official OBOB book lists and website.
  13. In Content questions, 5 points are given for the complete answer. Designated two-part questions will be scored with 3 points for the first answer given and 2 points for the second answer given.
  14. If a team gives an incorrect or incomplete answer, the question will be repeated to the opposing team. That team will have 15 seconds to discuss their answer. NOTE: If the “acquiring” team does not answer correctly, play does NOT pass back to the other team.
  15. Regardless of who scored on the previous question, even-numbered questions will be read to the even team, and odd-numbered questions will be read to the odd team. This means that an "acquiring" team will get to answer two questions in a row--the one it acquired, followed by their own.
  16. If a team has begun its response before time is called, they will be allowed to complete their response.
  17. If a question is being read and the spokesperson interrupts the reader, that team must answer the question immediately.
  18. At the end of a battle, the Moderator/Reader announces and allows 15 seconds for challenges to be articulated through the team's spokesperson only. The teams are each limited to one challenge per round. If there are no challenges, the final score will be announced and a winner will be declared. The battle will be considered complete and no further challenges will be entertained. The teams will be sent on to their next battle.
  19. An answer is considered correct even if mispronounced, as long as the judge can discern it.
  20. Multiple questions may appear on certain titles and some titles may not be asked about at all.
  21. Teams may not use a title/author list or any notes.
  22. In the event of a CHALLENGE, this procedure will be followed:
  • The challenging team will have TWO minutes to find and mark the page numbers (with a post-it note) where the answer can be found in the book they named.

  • The timekeeper will begin timing after the Moderator/Reader recognizes the challenge and copies of the book are given to the challenging team.
  • The official timer will announce the end of the TWO minute time period and discussion must stop. (no countdown)
  • The challenging team’s spokesperson will show the judge the exact wording that supports their challenge.
  • The judge determines whether the challenge is successful or not. An answer may be considered correct by way of inference. If the judge accepts the challenge as successful, and the other conditions for gaining a score were fulfilled, the points shall be awarded and the scores amended.
  • The judge’s decision is final.
  1. At the regional and state competitions, a tiebreaker battle may be played to break a tie between two or more teams. The tiebreaker rules are the same as above. As soon as one team has more points after an even number of questions have been read, that team is declared the winner. If the score is still tied after 10 tiebreaker questions, the official may call a tie. Challenges ARE allowed at the end of a tiebreaker battle with the usual challenge time in effect.


  • Last Updated: February 13, 2009