The Gallaudet University Academic Bowl was established to foster academic excellence, healthy competition, and sportsmanship among deaf and hard of hearing youth – all while making lifelong friends. Every year, Gallaudet University hosts regional competitions for teams of deaf and hard of hearing high school students.


2024 – 2025 competition timeline is as follows:

  • Academic Bowl Registration Period: September 25 at 12 pm EST to September 27 at 6 pm EST
  • West Regional: January 30 – February 2, 2025
  • Midwest Regional: February 13 – 16, 2025
  • South Regional: February 27 – March 2, 2025
  • East Regional: March 7 – 10, 2025
  • Academic Bowl Nationals @ Gallaudet: April 17 – 21, 2025

We would like to recognize and thank our main sponsor for the 2024 National Academic Bowl, Sorenson!

SORENSON logo (1)



Opportunities Questions

Please contact us for more information.
Gallaudet University established its first National Academic Bowl in 1997 with the goals of promoting academic competition among school teams and fostering academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard of hearing students across the country.

There are four regional competitions across the United States: South, West, Midwest, and East. All registered teams will take a Screening Test to qualify for the regional competition. Up to 16 teams will compete in each regional competition. The top four teams from each region are automatically invited to the National competition. The 16 National-bound teams will take a Ranking Test to determine their seeding for the National competition. The winners of the National Semifinal matches advance to the National Championship match shown live via Gallaudet University’s Youth Programs’ Facebook page. 

An Academic Bowl match will have three rounds. Round One will consist of 12 team discussion questions and 12 bonus questions. The team will have 30 seconds to discuss the answer. If the team gets the discussion question right, a bonus question is awarded. Round Two will also consist of 12 questions. Players will take turns answering the questions with no communication amongst teams allowed. The Final Round consists of 10 questions relating to one category and usually one topic. Teams are given two minutes to discuss and record their answers. During the tournament bracket matches, starting in the Quarterfinals, the number of questions in Round One and Round Two increases from 12 to 16. During the Championship match, the number of questions in Rounds One and Two goes up to 20. The number of questions in the Final Round of the Championship match also goes up to 15.

More details about the match format are shared in the Rules and Guidelines manual.

The Academic Bowl is open to teams of high school students currently enrolled in recognized schools or programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. Schools or programs may be residential schools, day schools, mainstream programs, or any other type of educational program. The number of players allowed on a team is (4) four. All players must be in grades 9-12. If a school or program does not have enough students to field a team, one may be formed by combining students from another school or program and submitting a request to the Youth Programs office. When a single school or program does not have enough students to field its own Academic Bowl team, teams may be assembled by combining students from two or more schools or programs within a 25-mile radius of each other. In some cases, as in a school in a rural area, the school may petition in writing for special consideration, which may include a larger radius. Other options are for a mainstreamed or home-schooled student to join the team of a local school or program for the deaf. All written petitions for special consideration will be considered by the Youth Programs office.

A maximum of 64 teams may participate in the Academic Bowl competition, with 16 teams in each of the four regions. A waiting list will be established for teams that do not make the cut in the Screening Test. If a team is forced to withdraw from the competition, the first team on the waiting list will be offered the opportunity to participate in the competition. If a region is full, then teams on the waiting list for that region may be invited to another region if there are spots available in that region.

Schools and programs that participate in the Regional Academic Bowl competitions are expected to make their travel arrangements and cover their travel expenses. All participating teams will charge a non-refundable fee of $400 to help offset Academic Bowl operation costs. This $400 fee is waived for all Regional host schools. Schools may apply for a registration fee waiver if they already need to fundraise a large amount of money for travel expenses to the Regional competition. All requests for registration fee waivers must be made to the National Academic Bowl office. There is an additional $100 fee if schools fail to pay their registration fee on time. All team registration fees are non-refundable. Accommodations and meals will be covered by Gallaudet University during the Regional competitions. Schools and programs will be expected to inform travel arrangements, including arrival time and departure from the airport closest to the Regional competition sites. The 16 teams that compete at the National Academic Bowl competition will have all of their expenses covered, including travel, lodging, and meals. 

The Regional Academic Bowl locations and dates and the National competition dates can be found at: Academic Bowl
If your team needs to withdraw from the competition, please inform the Youth Programs office immediately, so a team on the waiting list can be invited to participate. The team entry fee is non-refundable.
Families and visitors are more than welcome. The competition schedule will be posted on our website. There is no charge to attend. A hospitality room for families is available at both the Regional and National competitions. Families are not allowed to join their children at the social outing, meals, and farewell party.
Each coach varies with the type of preparation they use with their team. Some teams practice after school, weekends, or in the evenings. Some teams hold practice competitions with neighboring public schools, or with parents and their school community. Some schools even schedule matches via video conferencing with other schools. More information can be found in the Rules and Guidelines manual and at our AB Resources Center
Quiz tournaments, in which teams of high school students compete against each other in local, regional, and national events, is popular among high schools and colleges throughout the country. The Gallaudet University Academic Bowl competition consists of a question and answer game of general knowledge and quick recall. Questions are drawn from the following categories: Arts and Entertainment; Current Events; Language and Literature; Mathematics; Pop Culture, Leisure, and Sports; Potpourri; and Science and Technology.

Contact Us

Academic Bowl

9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm

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