Prince George's County Public Schools
Science Bowl Rules
  • Science Bowl teams consist of three on-camera players and one alternate. 
  • The contestants are chosen entirely by the schools which often administer science tests to would-be players or use report card grades or stage mock Science Bowl competitions to assess science competency.
  • During the actual games, two teams vie in a contest to answer tossup questions of different point value in different categories to amass the larger score.
  • All teams start out at 50 points and no penalties are ever deducted for an incorrect answer.
  • Play proceeds in two rounds of five and ten minutes.
  • Although just one team member, the captain, can ring in with the buzzer, all three players are encouraged to actively talk among themselves to reach consensus.
  • When a team rings in to answer, the question cannot be repeated nor will the moderator finish reading an interrupted question.
  • The winner of each match then moves to the next level of competition (quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals).
  • When a team wins a match and returns for the next round of play, teacher coaches can make a substitution using the team's alternate.
  • Elementary school players are usually sixth graders but fifth graders are permitted if the coach so decides.
  • Middle school players are usually eighth graders because they have one additional year of science background, but seventh graders do often participate.