Thank you for your interest in the 2022 International Geography Bee World Championships! We’re excited to bring together the top geography students from around the world and hope this page and the rest of the site can help you learn more about how IGB Worlds works and how you can take part. Here are some FAQs that you might be interested in:
Who can compete
Q: How do I qualify for IGB Worlds?
A: Qualification is conducted through participation in International Geography Bee exams (a score of 75 on any exam version is sufficient), the US National, Canadian National, Asian, or European Championships of the International Geography Bee and Bowl, and a qualifying exam for students in countries lacking IHBB events or located at least 200 kilometers from the nearest one. You can learn more about how to qualify here.
Q: Which types of students can compete?
A: Any student who qualified and was born in 2012 or earlier can compete. Students born in 2011 and 2012 (or students who will have only finished the equivalent of 4th or 5th grade in the USA by July 2022) are welcome to come if they have qualified but they must come with a parent or guardian. If you have already qualified but are too young to take part in 2022, you may defer your registration until you are old enough to compete. IGB Worlds is open to students attending local schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools, homeschools…
Q: Is there a maximum number of students who can represent a country or compete?
A: Unlike various other competitions, we don’t limit the number of students who can attend per country. We anticipate an initial field cap of 500 students.
Q: Is there a maximum age to attend IGB Worlds?
No, there is no maximum age, as long as you qualified this year or last year for IGB Worlds, you can attend, provided you were enrolled in secondary school or a homeschool equivalent during the 2021-2022 academic year. For students at schools which operate on a calendar year schedule (i.e. the academic year begins in January-March), if you attended such a school at any point in 2021, you may attend the 2022 IGB Worlds, even if you graduated in August-December 2021 or in the early months of 2022.
Q: Do I have to attend with my school academic team or quiz bowl team?
A: No, you don’t, and a lot of students will be coming on their own, too. And you won’t feel alone for long, as you will make friends from all around the world, who share the same passion for geography!
Q: Do I need to compete in certain events? Can I/my school team come just for the International Geography Bowl?
A: All team competitions are mandatory as is the Battery Exam. Aside from this, all student participants participate in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Note that while you are welcome to come with other players from your school (assuming you all have qualified), at IGB Worlds, you will be assigned (on the basis of your country/state affiliation, Battery Exam results, age division, and other criteria) to a 2-4 student team. This may or may not be with other school team members, but in any case, please do not come expecting that you will definitely be competing together with your school teammates. It is not permitted to come just for the Geography Bowl (or any other event, for that matter).
Q. What if my school or university starts again before the end of IGB Worlds? Or if I have some other pressing event that precludes me from being at IGB Worlds during the entire time?
A. While only a few events are mandatory, you cannot specifically just come for a portion of IGB Worlds unless you gain special dispensation from IAC staff due to school attendance requirements or some comparable family event / religious holiday / other suitable reason. Please note that while we will try and be flexible to the extent possible, we are not able to grant partial discounts, and we cannot guarantee partial stays until we have reviewed your situation and seen if it is feasible for a student to attend. If you are interested in a partial stay at the Olympiad, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your situation.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Once you have qualified, you can register here once registration opens. Once you have registered, we’ll send you instructions for how to submit payment.
Q: Do students need to come with a coach or parent?
No, they don’t. We will provide chaperones and all events will be fully staffed. The exception to this is students born in 2011 or 2012 who must come with a parent or legal guardian.
Q: Can coaches attend?
Coaches are welcome to attend but they will need to register and pay registration fees.
Q: Can parents, family members, and family friends attend?
Unlike other academic IGB Worlds which don’t allow parents, family members, and family friends, they are welcome at IGB Worlds, in fact, we have a whole program of events for them! Parents attending IGB Worlds who wish to watch any events must register and follow the protocols outlined here.
Q: Who will take care of the students?
A: A team composed of IAC staff members and teachers will staff IGB Worlds and take care of the students. All staff members will undergo a background check in advance of IGB Worlds.
Q: What language is IGB Worlds held in?
A: IGB Worlds’s official language is English. If English is not your mother tongue, we can provide you with a bilingual dictionary that you can use for all the non-buzzer-based events.
Q: What are the age divisions offered at IGB Worlds?
A: For the 2022 IGB Worlds, we will offer three divisions: Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School. There may also be Elementary and Collegiate Divisions pending interest levels. At the 2022 IGB Worlds, students have the option to select which age division they compete will compete in. Students may select one of two options:
The birthdate divisions cut offs are: Varsity (born August 2005 or earlier), Junior Varsity (born September 2005-August 2007), Middle School (born September 2007-August 2009).
The grade-based division cut offs are:
Varsity – Final 2 years of schooling per normal alignment (if a student is planning on skipping a year, this is not taken into account) in a student’s school in the 2021-2022 school year (Northern Hemisphere or academic year schools [i.e. July-October 2021 through May-August 2022]) or 2021 school year (South Asia, Southern Hemisphere, and calendar year schools).
Junior Varsity – The 2 years of schooling prior to Varsity eligibility per the above criteria.
Middle School – The 2 years of schooling prior to Junior Varsity eligibility per the above criteria.
In the vast majority of cases, a student’s age division would be the same by either the birthdate or grade-based criteria. By these criteria, any student in the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand will also be able to play in the division that they were eligible to compete in at the most recent tournaments held in their countries.
Note that if a student qualified in a younger division in the 2018-2019, 2019-2020, or 2020-2021 academic year but will be in an older age division in Summer 2022, then they do NOT need to requalify for IGB Worlds in the 2021-2022 academic year, but they MUST compete only in the age division that they are eligible for. Thus unless a student is still birthdate eligible in the Middle School division, a student who competed in 6th grade in North America in 2018-2019, and who is in 9th grade in 2021-2022 must compete in the Junior Varsity division at IGB Worlds. If a student in such a case is birthdate eligible to still compete in the Middle School division, then they may do that if they choose, or they can compete in the Junior Varsity division instead.
Q: What about students who qualified during the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 academic years but who will have graduated high school prior to Spring 2022? These students would have been eligible to play had the IGB World Championships taken place as scheduled in the Summer of 2022.
A: We are aware that students over a two year timeframe would have been able to compete, but missed their last chance to do so. We would be able to offer a Collegiate Division at IGB Worlds if there is sufficient (i.e. at least 20 students) interested. If this is permitted then older students who will be enrolled in an undergraduate program at any point in 2022 (or who are doing a gap year or two) would be permitted to attend (with the exception of students graduating from high school prior to IGB Worlds in 2022; they would compete in the Varsity Division instead.
Q: Which country or US state can I represent?
A: At IGB Worlds, each student will have a specific affiliation (i.e. country or US State). You are eligible to compete for a country or US State if any of these methods apply to you: 1) you have citizenship of that country (or for India, are an Overseas Citizen of India) 2) you were born in that country or US state 3) you reside in that country or state for the majority of the 2021-2022 academic year (August 2021-June 2022) 4) you attended a school (but not university) in that country or state at the time you qualified for IGB Worlds. You can only select one affiliation. This can be adjusted later if needed until July 1, 2022.
Students from Hong Kong and Macau or with passports from those locations may play for either for them or for the People’s Republic of China. Students from North Korea will play on a unified Korea team. Students from subnational territories should contact IGB Worlds staff for a ruling on representation eligibility.
Q: How many medals will be awarded?
A: Numerous events will be held, but only one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal will be distributed per event, per division (though for team events, all team members will receive medals).
Q: What are the buzzer-based quiz events?
A: These are the events which are played with a buzzer system. These are sometimes called quiz bowl events, though note that they are all individual, not team-based, except for the International Geography Bowl World Championships.
Q: How are teams formed?
At IGB Worlds, citizens and residents of the USA will represent their state, while citizens and residents of the rest of the world will represent their country. The Battery Exam will be used to determine the composition of National and State teams for the team events at IGB Worlds. Normally, the top two-four students from a country or state will form the A Team for that country of state, the next top tw0-four scoring students will form Team B and so on per age group. However, some teams may consist of just two or three students due to the need for rounding. Solo or duo teams will not be permitted.
Q: Is there going to be an International Geography Bee “World Champion”?
A: For each division, there will be an individual champion (the combined highest position in the International Geography Quiz, Battery Exam, and Written Exam). There will also be a champion country or state based on the highest position in the medals count (this is for all divisions combined).
If there are ties, ties will be broken on the rank points principle through a final tiebreaker consisting of 5 quiz bowl style buzzer questions, 1 short answer prompt (6 sentences maximum), and 5 multiple choice questions, with all parts having equal weight. If, for example, 2 students each score the same on the multiple choice, this tie will only be broken if needed (through additional multiple choice questions as necessary) to determine the medal positions (i.e. if two students tie on multiple choice, but then one other students wins both the other parts, then the tie isn’t broken).
Ties will be broken for the top 3 overall spots.
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