2019 DeLaSalle Invitational Academic Tournament of Middle Schools

DeLaSalle High School is pleased to announce that it is working with the Minnesota Quiz Bowl Alliance to host the 2019 DeLaSalle Invitational Academic Tournament of Middle Schools (DIATOMS) on Saturday, March 16, 2019. The top finishers will qualify for the NAQT Middle School National Championship Tournament (MSNCT) to be held May 10–12, 2019 in Chicago.

We would love to see a local school bring home the national championship in May!

Unlike most MQBA middle-school events, this tournament will have two divisions:


The tournament will be held at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis.

Here is a Google Map of the school's location. (It is on an island in the Mississippi River.)


Teams can park anywhere in the main lot that is not explicitly marked as reserved. As expected at a high school, bus parking is available.


Teams may check in between 8:30 and 9:00 on Saturday, March 16, in the Main Gym. At this time they will pay, confirm their rosters, and receive their schedule for the day.

From 9:00 to 9:30 there will be an introductory meeting (also in the Main Gym) to go over the rules, format, and schedule. Coaches, players, and parents will have an opportunity to ask questions. Teams are also encouraged to ask questions in advance, over e-mail, to make the meeting go as smoothly as possible.

From 9:30 to 12:30 each team in the upper division will play six preliminary rounds (teams in the lower division are guaranteed five rounds). The teams with the best overall records in each division will advance to the playoffs.

From 12:30 to 1:30 teams will have a lunch break. Teams that have been eliminated may depart, or they may stay to watch the playoffs, scrimmage against each other, or explore the campus.

From 1:30 to 3:30 the top teams from the preliminary rounds will meet each other in the playoffs.

At 3:30 there will be an awards presentation. This will be kept brief and teams will be able to leave immediately thereafter.

Eligibility and Qualification:

All middle schools (public, private, magnet, charter, religious, online, etc.) are eligible to compete in this event and no prior qualification is necessary; the tournament is open to players that have not yet completed 8th grade, though the questions are targeted at 7th and 8th graders. Teams from home school collectives are also welcome. If you have a special situation, feel free to e-mail the eligibility committee in advance for a ruling.

Schools are encouraged to enter multiple teams, but please note that players must play for the same team throughout the tournament.

This tournament has two divisions. The upper division is open to all students who have not yet completed 8th grade, and the lower division is open to all students who have not yet completed 7th grade.

NAQT's Middle School Eligibility Rules are available online.

Nationals Berths:

According to NAQT's qualification policy, the top 15% of the field will qualify for the Middle School National Championship Tournament. The number of qualifiers will be computed based on the total field size (both divisions), but all qualifiers will come from the upper division.

Less formally, if your team has 8th-graders or wants to earn a nationals berth, play in the upper division. If you have nobody higher than 7th grade and you would prefer to compete against similar students, enter the lower division. A school may, of course, enter teams in both divisions.


The tournament will be staffed entirely by players at DeLaSalle High School, its quiz bowl alumni/ae, local residents, and collegiate players. Coaches will not be required to assist with the running of the tournament and will be able to watch their team(s) throughout the event (or grade papers, etc.).


The pairing method for the tournament will be determined by the number of teams that register, but all participants are guaranteed at least six preliminary games (five games for the lower division). The playoffs will be single elimination.


Teams that do not qualify for the playoffs after the first six rounds may return after lunch for more games played on a "for-fun" basis. These will be organized starting at 1:30. Teams may mix-and-match for the scrimmage rounds, play against their coaches, play against staff, or play in any other combination that they find enjoyable.


Teams should register online. If you have problems using the online form, contact R. Robert Hentzel for assistance.

The base registration fee is $90 for upper division teams; it is $25 for lower division teams. There is a $10 discount for a bringing a working quiz bowl lockout system (one discount per team). There is a $10 per-team penalty for waiting to register until after March 13, 2019. The registration fee includes one printed copy of the questions used at the tournament.

Note that the online registration system does not automatically discount the lower teams; there is a custom discount that you can add when registering, or the tournament director will add it before invoicing you. Rest assured that even if the website originally says the cost of lower-division teams is $90 each, that will be corrected to $25 before you are invoiced.

Teams may pay at the tournament site or they may send a check in advance to:

R. Robert Hentzel
Minnesota Quiz Bowl Alliance
10333 Oak Grove Circle
Bloomington, MN 55431

Please make checks out to "Minnesota Quiz Bowl Alliance."


The top four teams in the upper division will receive team trophies and the members of the winning team will receive individual trophies. The top eight individual scorers will receive All-Star awards. The trophies for the lower division will be determined by the numbers of teams that register for it.

Note that players must play at least three complete games' worth of tossups (i.e., 60 tossups) to be eligible for individual prizes.

Preparing for the Tournament:

The NAQT format is a tossup-bonus format similar to the old "GE College Bowl" television show. This is the dominant quiz bowl format in Minnesota, so if your players enjoy the game and would like to continue playing in high school, familiarity with it will stand them in good stead.

We recommend reading the one-page summary of the rules, but the basics of gameplay are as follows:

The complete rules are also available online.

Teams may be interested in purchasing NAQT's New Middle School Package which contains practice questions and study guides.

Question Security:

Short version: If your school does not plan on playing quiz bowl outside of Minnesota, then you have nothing to worry about in terms of question security. You can skip the long version in the next paragraph.

Long version: This tournament will use questions provided by National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC. We are using Middle School Series #30 and have purchased geographic exclusivity for Minnesota. It is the responsibility of participating teams to make sure that they have not attended (and do not plan to attend) another tournament anywhere in the country that is using the same packet set. Teams can find explanations of geographic exclusivity and their responsibility in maintaining question security on NAQT's website. Teams can also look up the sets assigned to past and future tournaments. Teams with questions about exclusivity or security should contact NAQT at naqt@naqt.com.

Teams may also be interested in checking out the free You Gotta Know articles that give brief overviews of answers that come up very frequently (for example, "You gotta know these French kings."). They may also be interested in frequency list, subject-specific Thumbs Up collections of questions, or Power Up study guides.

Further Questions:

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact R. Robert Hentzel by e-mail or phone (952.888.2277).

Created 2019 December 21 by R. Robert Hentzel