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, Team Battle Day, and the Championship and All-Team Finale.

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.

 

Team Battle Day Rules

1. Forty-eight teams participate in Team Battle Day. Each team is assigned by random draw to one of four battle groups (12 teams per group) and will compete in three battles against three different opposing teams.

2. During each battle, a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 team members may participate. One member acts as captain to answer each question. The designated captain may be changed from battle to battle but may not change during a battle. Teams may not add members to a battle once it has begun.

3. Each team will sit at a rectangular table facing the judge. Different arrangements of chairs are allowed, however team members cannot have their backs to the judge.

4. 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.

If one of the teams is disqualified or does not show to competition, the present team will draw 10 questions plus 5 additional 'steal' questions and receive a score based on the number of correct answers they provide.

5. 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 after the question is read. 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. If members of the team 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. 

6. 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 after the question is read. 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). For steals, the author name is not required, nor are points given for naming the author.

Team Battle Day Scoring

Correct Author

1 point

Correct Answer

5 points

Correct Answer Missed by Opposing Team

1 point, maximum of 5 per battle

7. 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.

8. The decision of the judge is final.

9. Once the battle is over, the judge will tally each team's raw score. Each team will receive a ranking for the room based on their raw score compared to the other 11 teams in their battle group.

If there is a tie in the raw scores, the same rank will be given to both teams.

The rank received by each team for their three battles will be added together to calculate the team's total points.

10. The three teams with the lowest total points in each battle group will advance to the Semi-Finals.

11. If there is a tie among teams for the top three positions, the raw scores will be used to break the tie.

12. 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.

13. Spectators are invited to watch the battles quietly. Spectators -- 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, and the room host may ask disruptive spectators to leave the room.

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.

Semi-Finals Rules

1. Each team that advances to the Semi-Finals is assigned by random draw to one of two battle groups (6 teams per battle group) to compete in three battles against three different opposing teams. 

2. Rules 2-8 of Team Battle Day apply to the Semi-Finals.

3. At the end of the Semi-Finals, the raw scores of each team will be used to rank them in each room compared to the other five teams in their battle group. If there is a tie in raw scores, the same rank will be given to all teams with that score.

The rank received by each team for their three battles will be added together to calculate the team's total points.

4. The team with the lowest total points for each battle group will advance to the Championship. Thus, two teams will advance.

If there is a tie between teams for the top position, the raw scores of those teams will be used to break the tie.

5. Rules 12-14 of Team Battle Day apply to the Semi-Finals.

Championship Battle Rules

1. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 team members may participate in the Championship Battle.

2. 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.

3. The announcer will read each question twice. Each team may confer up to 20 seconds after the question is read. 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.

4. 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.

Championship Battle Scoring

Correct Author

1 point

Correct Answer

5 points

Correct Answer Missed by Opposing Team

1 point, maximum of 5

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. The decision of the judges is final.

* Please note that Rules of Play were revised on 10/15/2017 to apply to the 2017-2018 Battle of the Books Grand Traverse