North Central Section Conclave Contest Descriptions

Quiz bowl will consist of a single elimination tournament in which teams gain points by answering questions asked by a moderator. After successfully answering a “toss-up” question, the team will be given a multi-part “bonus” question. Toss-up and bonus questions will cover material relevant to natural resource management.

  1. Each team (one team/school) may consist of up to five players with no more than four participating at once (i.e., one team member will be an alternate). All team members must be undergraduate students.
  2. Team pairings will be chosen at random for the first match. Pairings in subsequent matches will be determined by a team’s ability to win. If a team advances to the final match unbeaten, the challenging team must beat the undefeated team in two consecutive matches to win first place.
  3. Matches will last 10 minutes, except for the final match, which will last 15 minutes.
  4. On all questions, the first answer given will be the one accepted (i.e., there will be no second thoughts). The moderator reserves the right to ask the respondent to “be more specific.”
  5. If the pronunciation of the answer is unclear to the moderator, the respondent may be asked to spell the answer. If spelled incorrectly, the answer will be considered incorrect.
  6. When the final bell rings, the match is over. If the match ends while a question is being asked, the match ends at that point. If the final bell rings while a toss-up or bonus question is being answered, the match ends after the allotted time for the answer has expired. For the purpose of this rule, players who have signaled, but have not been acknowledged, will be allowed to answer. Should time expire while a
    toss-up question is being answered correctly, there will be a bonus question awarded if it has bearing on the outcome of the match.
  7. If the score is tied at the end of the match, the match will be extended an additional 5 minutes. If after the additional 5 minutes, the score is still tied, a sudden-death round will be held in which the first team to correctly answer a question wins.
  8. A judging committee of the host school faculty members, professional wildlife biologists, etc., will be the referees of any challenge that may arise.

Specific Rules for Toss-up Questions

  1. Matches begin with a toss-up question open to both teams. Each toss-up question is worth 10 points.
  2. Following the reading of a toss-up question, 5 seconds will be allowed for a team to signal for an answer. A team member signals to answer by pressing a button that activates a buzzer and light. Only one person may answer a toss-up question. The first team member to respond is indicated by their individual light.
  3. If no one signals within the allotted time, the moderator will give the answer and the next question will be asked.
  4. The moderator will acknowledge the signal by verbally announcing the team member’s school and number of the player. If the player answers before being acknowledged, the moderator will state the answer cannot be accepted and the opposing team will be given a chance to signal (5 seconds), be verbally acknowledged, and answer. This rule applies irrespective of whether the unaccepted answer given is correct or incorrect!
  5. The team member acknowledged has 10 seconds to answer the question. If the answer is heard from the audience, the question will be discarded. If any discussion occurs between members of a team on a toss-up question, that team forfeits the right to gain points and the other team gets a chance to answer after being acknowledged. This applies regardless if an answer was heard or not.
  6. Should a team member give a wrong answer to a toss-up question, the opposing team has 5 seconds in which to signal after the moderator announces that the answer is incorrect. The team member will then be verbally acknowledged and allowed 10 seconds to answer the question. No points are lost for incorrect answers.
  7. A team member may signal to answer a toss-up question as it is being asked. When this occurs, the moderator stops reading at that point. If, after being acknowledged, the answer given is wrong, the entire question is repeated for the opposing team. As in all toss-up questions, a team member must signal and be acknowledged before answering the question. In the event that a member of the opposing team signals before the question has been repeated or repeated completely, the moderator stops reading the question and acknowledges that team member for an answer. Once the question is read completely, it is not repeated.

Specific Rules for Bonus Questions

  1. A bonus question consists of 4 parts with the rare exception of those consisting of 2 parts. Bonus questions are worth a total of 20 points with points divided equally among the parts. Points are earned for each part answered correctly according to the value of the part. No points are lost for incorrect answers.
  2. 2. Bonus questions are a team effort, but the answer decided upon for each part can only be accepted from the team captain. The team will have a total of 30 seconds in which to answer all parts after the question is completely read.
  3. 3. Answers can be given for any part of the question in any order at any time, even while the team members continue to discuss other parts.
  4. 4. All bonus questions will be oral, audio, video/slide, or carry-on specimen(s).

If an answer to a toss-up question ruled incorrect is believed to be correct by the answering team, the player can challenge the moderator’s ruling by appealing to the judging committee.However, challenges can be made only after the opposing team has had an opportunity to answer. Also, if a member of the opposing team believes an answer ruled correct is incorrect, a challenge to the judging committee may be made. To challenge, a team member should activate the buzzer/light and wait to be verbally recognized. When a challenge is made, the clock will stop until the judges have made a decision. Challenges to toss-up questions must be made before the bonus or next toss-up question is read. Bonus questions may also be
challenged before the next toss-up question is read. In all cases, the decision of the judges is

The lab practical will be a 50 minute event in which competitors are asked to identify specimens from a variety of taxa. Questions asked can cover scientific/family/order names, morphology, and natural history. Mammals, birds, fish, herps, and plants are all fair game for this event. One undergraduate student from each school may participate.

Up to 4 members may participate in the team competition, with a maximum of 1 graduate student. In this event, each team will start at a different station. Teams will need to navigate between stations using a variety of equipment (compass, telemetry, GPS unit, etc). Each station will have tasks/questions for the teams to complete. Teams will be scored on both accuracy and speed.

This event will be a relay race style event for a team of 4 people. The components of this event are still TBD, but some possible activities include carrying tomahawk traps, running in waders, walking through a course blindfolded, and navigating to a specific tree. Judging for this event is based on speed.

This event is for a team of 2-4 people. Before this event, we will give individuals a “crash course” in telemetry. During the event, each team will receive 2 radio collars to hide. The goal of the competition is to use telemetry to gather as many radio collars from other teams as possible.

The wildlife calling contest will include categories for waterfowl, cervids, turkey, misc. game, and nongame species. The number and distribution of categories for this event will depend on the number of people interested in competing for this event. Judging will be based on accuracy and imitation of the species in question.

This event is intended to allow students to share their artistic talents. There is no limit to the number of entries per school; however, there is a limit of 3 submissions/student. Categories for this contest include drawing, painting, free form (taxidermy, sculpture, carving, etc), wildlife photography, and trail camera photos. Judging will be based on “people’s choice”, and voting will be open throughout the weekend.

Starting this year, we will have a traveling plaque for the overall winner of conclave! To do this, we will be adapting the Southeastern Section’s Conclave scoring rules. Overall score will be based on:

  • Team Competition 30%
  • Quiz Bowl 25%
  • Other competitions 45% (evenly divided among each)

All teams that participated in an event are ranked and then all teams that did not participate are ranked as a tie for last. Even if a team participated and scored a zero, the participating teams should be ranked ahead of and separate from schools that did not participate in an event. To prevent skewing the spreadsheet results, scores for schools that tie should be averaged across the range of rankings for the tie. For example, 1st place among 20 schools receives 1 point, 2 ties for 2nd place each receive 2.5 points, and 4th place receives 4 points. As a second example, if 3 teams tied for 7th place, then they occupy 7th, 8th, and 9th place and they receive an average ranking of 8 in the spreadsheet. As another critical example, if 4 teams out of 20 did not participate in field photography, those teams tied for 17th place but the score is the average between 17 and 20 so these schools all score 18.5.

For a printable pdf (90kb): North Central Conclave Contest Descriptions - 2024.