Academics
Areas of Study

The National Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was established in 1996 under the guidance of Astrid Amann Goodstein, who was then the Executive Director of Enrollment Services at Gallaudet. That year, only six schools participated in what was considered a competition for local schools only. MSSD won this inaugural competition.

The competition was then expanded to five regions in 1997 under the direction of Edgar Palmer and his committee. A total of 12 teams participated in the 5 regions. The championship teams from each region were then invited to Gallaudet for the national competition. The planning committee that year included people such as Donalda Ammons (who later became the President of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf), Dwight Benedict (retired Dean of Student Affairs), Stephen Weiner (retired Provost), and Robert Weinstock (currently a member of the Academic Bowl Executive Committee).

In 1998, the final round during that year and the next few years was called the gamble round in which teams were given three questions and a total of 60 points to allocate to those three questions. If a team answered a question correctly, they would be awarded the number of points they gambled on that question. Starting in 2000, Final Rounds consisted of 10 questions worth three points each. The same Final Round format has been used since then.

In 2002, three major rule changes were introduced. For the first five years of the competition, the first two rounds were tossup rounds in which the first player to buzz in got to answer the question. Starting in 2002, the current format that we continue to use today was initiated. Tossup questions were now used only in the first round. The second round saw one player on each team face off against each other. Another major rule change saw each regional tournament expand to allow a maximum of 16 teams and for the first time ever, the top two teams from each region were then invited to participate in the national competition.

Historical Feats

1997– California School for the Deaf, Riverside wins the first ever National Academic Bowl championship.

1999 – California School for the Deaf, Fremont became the first school to win consecutive national championships (1998 and 1999).

2001– Rob McConnell and Model Secondary School for the Deaf became the second school to win consecutive national championships (2000 and 2001).

2002– Timothy Woodford wins the first ever Nationals Most Outstanding Player award.

2003 – Both Jesse Saunders and Scarlett Valencia became the first former players to also coach an Academic Bowl team. Saunders coached for New Mexico School of the Deaf and Valencia coached for California School for the Deaf, Riverside.

Indiana School for the Deaf wins the first of five National Championships under Hall of Fame coaches Mary Kovatch and Chuck Daube. Pia Marie Paulone, currently a member of the Academic Bowl Executive Committee, wins the Most Outstanding Player award.

2005– Maryland School for the Deaf wins the first of five National Championships.

2007 – The first siblings to play against each other was Abigail and Hannah Worek. Abigail represented Rochester School for the Deaf and Hannah for Monroe #1 BOCES. There were also more sibling rivalries after the Woreks. They were Jonathan Ainsworth (Highland Park HS) and Charlie Ainsworth (MSAD) and Lauren Berger (MSSD) and Ethan Berger (Monroe #1 BOCES).

2009– Gianni Manganelli of University High School becomes the first player to win three Regional Most Outstanding Player Awards. He goes on to win the National Championship and the Nationals Most Outstanding Player award.

2012 – Maryland School for the Deaf became the first school to win three consecutive national championships.

E.C. Drury School for the Deaf (Milton, Ontario, Canada) became the first school from outside the United States to participate. They have not missed a Regional competition since then.

2013 – Noah Valencia became the first 2nd generation Academic Bowl. His mother, Scarlet Valencia was a player for California School for the Deaf, Riverside.

Octavian Robinson became the first to win a national championship as a player AND as a coach (Player in 1997 / Coach in 2013).

Maryland School for the Deaf became the first school to win four consecutive national championships.
Ethan Sonnenstrahl became the first player to win four consecutive national championships. He also wins the Most Outstanding Player award for the first time.

2014 – A mother and son won Regional championships as coaches for different schools. Sharon Vollmar won the West Regional coaching for CSD Riverside while Scott Vollmar won the Southwest Regional coaching for New Mexico SD.

2015 – At the Southeast Regional, Cathi Holst, a coach for South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind coached in a match against her son, Brandon Holst of Model Secondary School for the Deaf.

Steven Putz was recognized as an All-Star so he joins his older siblings Lauren Putz and David Putz in winning both Regional and National honors. They are the first trio of siblings to win Academic Bowl honors.

2017– Isabella Paulone won a national championship while playing for Indiana SD, joining her older sister Pia Marie who won in 2003 and her older brother Gabriel who won in 2008.

2018– Franco Bippus becomes the second ever player to win three Regional Most Outstanding Player awards. He also became the second ever player to win two Nationals Most Outstanding Player awards. He and his Indiana School for the Deaf team also win a second consecutive National championship.

Academic Bowl – 2019 in Review

For the first time, all registered teams had to take a screening test (via VP with Gallaudet judges) in order to qualify for the Regional competitions. 85 teams registered and 80 teams advanced to the Regional competitions. Regionals: 2019 Midwest 2019 South 2019 West 2019...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2018 in Review

Regionals: 2018 East Match Results 2018 East Awards 2018 South Match Results 2018 South Awards 2018 Midwest Match Results 2018 Midwest Awards 2018 West Match Results 2018 West Awards Nationals: 2018 Nationals Match Results 2018 Nationals Awards Number of Regional teams: 79 Number of National...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2017 in Review

In 2017, we reduced the number of Regional competitions from 5 to 4 and invited 20 teams to each Regional competition. The number of national teams were also reduced from 24 to 20. Regionals: 2017 West Region 2017 Midwest Region 2017 South Region 2017 East...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2016 in Review

Regionals: 2016 Midwest Regional Playoffs and Awards 2016 Southeast Playoffs and Awards 2016 Southwest Playoffs and Awards 2016 West Playoffs and Awards 2016 Northeast Playoffs and Awards Nationals: Number of Regional teams: 77 Number of National teams: 24 National Competition teams: Illinois School for the...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2015 in Review

Regionals: 2015 Northeast Regional 2015 Midwest Regional 2015 West Regional 2015 Southeast Regional 2015 Southwest Regional Nationals: 2015 National Academic Bowl Number of Regional teams: 78 Number of National teams: 24 National Competition teams: California School for the Deaf, Fremont (West) California School for the...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2014 in Review

Regionals: 2014 Regional Academic Bowl Nationals: 2014 National Academic Bowl Number of Regional teams: 80 (tied record) Number of Nationals teams: 24 National competition teams: California School for the Deaf, Riverside (West) Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (Southwest) EDCO @ Newton North High...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2013 in Review

In 2013, we returned to the Regionals and National competition format after two years of a single National competition. Regionals: 2013 Regional Academic Bowl Nationals: 2013 National Academic Bowl Number of Regional teams: 78 Number of Nationals teams: 20 National competition teams: California School for...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2012 in Review

In 2011 and 2012, a single national competition was held at Gallaudet. Teams competed in a Regionals-style format then 32 teams advanced to the "National" competition. Sixteen teams then advanced to the Playoffs bracket. 2012 saw what was possibly the most exciting National Championship match...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2011 in Review

In 2011 and 2012, we had a single national competition in which all teams came to Gallaudet to participate in a 4-day long competition that pitted 78 teams in a Regional-style competition. 32 teams then advanced to the "National" competition then 16 teams advanced to...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2010 in Review

Websites: 2010 Northeast Region Results 2010 Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Region Results 2010 Southeast Region Results 2010 West Region Results 2010 Midwest Region Results 2010 National Scores Pages Number of Regional Teams: 76  Number of National Teams: 16 National Competition teams: American School for the Deaf (Northeast) California...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2009 in Review

In 2009, the National competition was expanded from 10 to 16 teams for the first time. Websites: 2009 Southeast Region Results 2009 West Region Results 2009 Midwest Region Results 2009 Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Region Results 2009 Northeast Region Results 2009 National Results Number of Regional Teams: 79...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2008 in Review

Websites: 2008 Northeast Region Results 2008 Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Region Results 2008 West Region Results 2008 Midwest Region Results 2008 Southeast Region Results Number of Regional Teams: 80 Number of National Teams: 10 National Competition teams: Austine School for the Deaf (Northeast) Edmonds-Woodway High School (West) Florida...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2007 in Review

Number of Regional teams: 80 (record number!) Number of National teams: 10 National Competition teams: Austine School for the Deaf (Northeast) Berkmar High School (Southeast) California School for the Deaf, Fremont (West) Edmonds-Woodway High School (West) Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (Southeast) Indiana...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2006 in Review

Number of Regional Teams: 79 Number of National Teams: 10 National Competition teams: Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (West) Edmonds-Woodway High School (Southeast) Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (Southeast) Indiana School for the Deaf (Midwest) John Hersey High School (Midwest) Monroe...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2005 in Review

Number of Regional Teams: 76 Number of National Teams: 10 National Competition Teams: Alabama School for the Deaf (Southeast) Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (West) Indiana School for the Deaf (Midwest) John Hersey High School (Midwest) The Learning Center (Northeast) Maryland School for...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2004 in Review

In 2004, Colorado School for the Deaf came out of nowhere (they had never placed in the top 4 in previous National competitions) to win the National championship. Number of Regional teams: 75 Number of National teams: 10 National Competition teams: Colorado School for the...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2003 in Review

In 2003, the number of Regional teams jumped from 62 to 74 teams, thanks to an expansion of the Regional competitions from 12 to 16 teams from each Region. Number of Regional teams: 74 Number of National teams: 10 National Competition teams: Colorado School for...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2002 in Review

In 2002, the National competition was expanded to 10 teams which meant the top two teams from each Regional competition was invited to the National competition. The Most Outstanding Player was also awarded for the first time with Tim Woodford winning the first ever MOP...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2001 in Review

In 2001, Robert McConnell won his second consecutive National Championship trophy as the only holdover from MSSD's 2000 championship team. He became the second player to ever win two consecutive National Championship trophies. Number of Regional teams: 59 (maximum was 60 at the time) Number...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 2000 in Review

In 2000, the Third Place match was played for the first time. EDCO @ Newton North HS was the first team to compete for four consecutive years at the National competition.  Number of Regional teams: 54 Number of National teams: 5 National Competition teams: Florida...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 1999 in Review

In 1999, CSD Fremont became the first school to win consecutive national championships. Melissa Malzkuhn became the first player to win two consecutive national championships.  Number of Regional teams: 44 Number of National teams: 5 1999 National Competition Teams: Alabama School for the Deaf (Southeast)...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 1998 in Review

The number of teams participating in the Academic Bowl dramatically jumped from 12 to 40 teams from 1997 to 1998. EDCO @ Newton North HS was the first team to participate in the National competition twice. Number of Regional teams: 40 Number of National teams:...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Academic Bowl – 1997 in Review

In 1997, all 5 regionals hosted very small sized competitions in order to determine a National competition representative. MSSD was selected as the Mid-Atlantic representative based on having won the 1996 Mid-Atlantic Regional competition. The national competition was then held at Gallaudet. Number of Regional...

Academic Bowl

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits

Contact Us

Academic Bowl

Peet Hall 412

(202) 651-5000

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday
Closed
Thursday
Closed
Friday
Closed
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed
Select what best describes your relationship to Gallaudet University so we can effectively route your email.
By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.