Official Rules

Rules of Play *

Teams of 4-6 fourth and fifth graders read from a list of ten books chosen to appeal to a variety of interests and introduce young readers to a wide range of books. During battle season, readers meet with their teammates to discuss the books. Reading is a shared activity that culminates in three events: Mock Battles, Oral Battle Day, and the Finals (Semi-Finals with four teams followed by the Championship Battle with two teams).

 

Participants will:

  • Read from the selected book list
  • Become experts on the books they read
  • Practice answering questions about the books as a team
  • Compete against other teams

Mock Battles

Mock Battles give each team the chance to participate in a battle with another team and see how the competition works. This is a fun event to gather with fellow Battle of the Books participants.

 

Oral Battle Day Rules

    1. Forty-eight teams participate in Oral Battle Day. Each team is assigned a division, an AM or PM battle group, and a time slot in order to compete in three battles against three different opposing teams.

    Division A

    AM Battle Group (12 teams)

    Time Slot 1
    Time Slot 2

    PM Battle Group (12 teams)

    Time Slot 1
    Time Slot 2

    Division B

    AM Battle Group (12 teams)

    Time Slot 1
    Time Slot 2

    PM Battle Group (12 teams)

    Time Slot 1
    Time Slot 2

    2. Spectators are welcome; however, team members, coaches, and their family and friends may only attend and watch battles in which their team is participating, or the team risks getting disqualified.

    3. Battle participants, coaches and spectators are not to discuss questions in between battles. If found to be sharing information from their battles with other teams, or gathering information about other battles to benefit their team, or any similar activity, a team will be disqualified.

    4. Each team will participate in three battles on Oral Battle Day. During each battle, a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 team members may participate, with one member acting as captain to answer each question. The designated captain may be changed from battle to battle. Teams may not add members to a battle once it has begun.

    5. Each team will sit at a rectangular table facing the judge(s). Team members must sit so that they do not have their backs to the judges. (Please see approved seating layouts).

    6. A coin will be flipped to see which team will go first. The winner of the coin flip will be Team A and will sit at the table to the judge's left. Team captains will alternate drawing 10 questions each (a total of 20) for that battle.

    7. Once the battle begins, the first question will be asked of Team A and then alternate between Team A and B until all questions have been asked. The judge will read each question twice. Each team may confer up to 20 seconds. The captain will stand up and then clearly state the author’s last name and the answer to the question. Other team members may not talk to the captain or to each other after the captain stands up, nor should there be any communication between the team and the audience. If members of the team or the audience talk to the captain or to each other after the captain stands up, the judge will stop the captain from answering any further and not award points to that team. 

    8. The judge will award points for each correct author (1 point) and each correct answer (5 points). If the answer is incorrect, the question will be read once more for the opposing team. The team will have 20 seconds to confer on the answer. The judge will award one point if it is answered correctly (a maximum of five 1-point 'steals' are available to be awarded in this manner).

    9. While a team is conferring or answering the question, members of the opposite team must not indulge in disruptive conduct such as loud laughing, loud talking or communicating with the audience. A team violating this rule will receive ONE warning. If the behavior persists, the judge will deduct 4 points from the offending team’s final score.

    10. Audience members are invited to watch the battles quietly. Audience members, including the team coaches, must not talk to the timekeeper, judge, or any team members during the battles. The judge will manage any violation of the rules.

    11. The decision of the judge(s) is final. In order to keep the day progressing, if there are any questions pertaining to the battle, the team head coach should consult with the Battle of the Books Competition Coordinator.

    12. Once the battle is over, the judge will tally each team's raw score. At the end of the morning sessions, each team will receive a ranking in that room based on their raw score compared to the other 12 teams in their Battle Group. The same ranking process will occur at the conclusion of the afternoon sessions as well.

    13. The rankings will convert to battle points as shown here:

    Rank Battle Points
    1 12
    2 11
    3 10
    4 9
    5 8
    6 7
    7 6
    8 5
    9 4
    10 3
    11 2
    12 1

     Twelve points will be given to the team with the highest raw score, and one point will be given to the team with the lowest score.

    If there is a tie in the raw score for a room, the points assigned to those positions will be added together and divided. [Example: two teams tie for 3rd place. The points for 3rd place (10) and the points for 4th place (9) will be added together and divided by two, with each team receiving 9.5 points. The next team, in 5th place, will receive 8 points.]

    The points received by each team for their three battles will be added together.

    14. The team with the highest points in the AM Battle Group for Division A will play the team with the highest points in the AM Battle Group for Division B in the Semi-Finals. The team with the highest points in the PM Battle Group of Division A will play the team with the highest points in the PM Battle Group for Division B in the Semi-Finals.

    15. If there is a tie between two or more teams for the first place position, the raw scores for the teams will be used to break the tie. The team with the highest raw score (of the two in contention) will move on to the Finals.

     

    Oral Battle Scoring

    Correct Author

    1 point

    Correct Answer

    5 points

    Correct Answer Missed by Opposing Team

    1 point, maximum of 5 per battle

    Semi-Finals Rules

      1. The team with the highest points from the AM Battle Group of Division A and the team with the highest points from the AM Battle Group of Division B will play each other in the first Semi-Finals competition. The team with the highest points from the PM Battle Group in Division A and the team with the highest points from the PM Battle Group in Division B will play each other in the second Semi-Finals competition. 

      2. The winner of each Semi-Finals event will move on to the Championship Battle.

      3. Spectators are welcome at the Semi-Finals; however, team members, coaches, and their friends and family members may only attend and watch battles in which their team is participating, or the team risks getting disqualified.

      4. Battle participants, coaches, and spectators are not to discuss questions in between battles. If found to be sharing information from their battles with other teams, or gathering information about battles to benefit their team, or any similar activity, a team will be disqualified.

      5. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 team members may participate in a Semi-Finals competition.

      6. Each team will sit so they are facing the judge(s). Team members must sit so that they do not have their backs to the judge (see approved seating layouts).

      7. A coin will be flipped to see which team will go first. Team captains will draw 10 questions each (a total of 20) for the battle.

      8. The judge will read each question twice. Each team may confer up to 20 seconds. The captain will then stand up and clearly give the author’s last name and the answer to the question. Other team members may not talk to the captain or to each other after the captain stands up, nor should there be any communication between the team and the audience. If anyone talks to the captain or each other after the captain stands up, the judge will stop the captain from answering any further and not award points to that team.

      9. The judge will award points for each correct author (1 point) and each correct answer (5 points). If the judge determines the answer to be incorrect, the judge will repeat the question for the opposing team. That team will then have 20 seconds to decide on an answer. One point is awarded if the opposing team correctly answers the question (with a maximum of five such 'steals' allowed).

      10. While a team is conferring or answering the question, members of the opposite team must not indulge in disruptive conduct such as loud laughing, loud talking, or communicating with the audience. If such behavior occurs at any time during the battle, the judges will give the offending team ONE warning. If the behavior persists, the judge will deduct four points as a penalty from the team’s final score.

      11. If either of the battles is tied at the end of the 20 questions, the teams will participate in a sudden-death tie-breaker battle. Both teams will be given answer slips. The judge will read a question, and the teams will have 20 seconds to place their answers on the slip. No author names will be required, and no points will be awarded for listing the author. If both teams answer correctly or if both teams answer incorrectly, another question will be read until a winner emerges.

      12. The decision of the judges is final. If there are any questions pertaining to the battle, only team head coaches may discuss them with the Battle of the Books Competition Coordinator after the battle.

      Scoring for Semi-Finals

      Correct Author

      1 point

      Correct Answer

      5 points

      Correct Answer Missed by Opposing Team

      1 point, maximum of 5

       

      Championship Battle Rules

      1. The Championship Battle begins promptly at 2:30 pm. If a full team is not present at the scheduled time for the battle, we will wait no more than ten minutes. After the battle begins, no late-coming team members may join the battle.
      2. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 team members may participate in the Championship Battle.
      3. A coin will be flipped to see which team will go first. Team captains will draw 15 questions each (a total of 30) for the battle.
      4. The judge(s) will read each question twice. Each team may confer up to 20 seconds. The captain will then stand and state the author’s last name and the answer to the question. Other team members may not talk to the captain or to each other after the captain stands up, nor should there be any communication between the team and the audience.
      5. The judge(s) will award points for each correct author (1 point) and answer (5 points). If the judge determines the answer to be incorrect, the judge will repeat the question for the opposing team. That team will then have 20 seconds to decide on an answer. One point will be awarded if the opposing team answers it correctly.
      6. While a team is conferring or answering the question, members of the opposite team must not indulge in disruptive conduct such as loud laughing, loud talking, or communicating with the audience. If such behavior occurs at any time during the battle, the judges will give the offending team ONE warning. If the behavior persists, the panel will deduct four points as a penalty from the team’s final score.
      7. If the battle is tied at the end of the 30 questions, the teams will participate in a sudden-death tie-breaker battle. Both teams will be given answer slips. The judge will read a question, and the teams will have 20 seconds to place their answers on the slip. No author names will be required, and no points will be awarded for listing the author. If both teams answer correctly, or, if both teams answer incorrectly, another question will be read until a winner emerges.
      8. The decision of the judges is final. If there are any questions pertaining to the battle, only team head coaches may discuss them with the Battle of the Books Competition Coordinator after the battle.

       

      Championship Battle Scoring

      Correct Author

      1 point

      Correct Answer

      5 points

      Correct Answer Missed by Opposing Team

      1 point, maximum of 5

       

      * Please note that Rules of Play were revised on 1/6/2017 to apply to the 2016-2017 Battle of the Books Grand Traverse