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The Beginning of Bible Quizzing

The United Pentecostal Church International began the Bible Quiz Ministry in the 1960s (circa 1963?) with Senior Bible Quizzing, a ministry of the General Youth Division. Junior Bible Quizzing was established shortly thereafter as a ministry of the Sunday School Division. The Intermediate Division was added to Senior Quizzing around 2001. The Beginner Division was added to Junior Quizzing in 2008. Since its inception, Bible Quizzing at all levels has blessed countless lives. "No other program sponsored by the United Pentecostal Church can claim a higher percentage of participants who remain faithful to God and the Church than can Bible quizzing. Statistics reveal that, of those who spend at least three consecutive years in a quizzing program, 90% never leave the church, and 70% of the small minority who do leave eventually return." (A Handbook for New Coaches produced by the Texas District Sunday School Committee, page 7.)

Bible Quizzing Eligibility

The age rules for Bible Quizzing are as follows:

Becoming a Bible Quizzer

Every year during the last full week of July, the selected quiz material for the next quiz season is announced at the North American Junior Bible Quiz Tournament. Each quiz division memorizes a different number of verses. Typically, Beginner quizzers memorize around 180 verses, Junior quizzers memorize around 270 verses, Intermediate Senior quizzers memorize around 420 verses, and Experienced Senior quizzers memorize around 520 verses. Some quizzers start memorizing the scripture passages as soon as they are released, while other quizzers wait until October or November and as late as January to start learning their material. This website provides a Study Goal Calculator that calculates how many verses you need to learn each day or week to meet your verse study goal. On average, a junior Bible quizzer learns 1-3 verses a day and a senior Bible quizzer learns 3-5 verses a day. A quizzer's daily memorization is determined by many factors, including when they start studying, their age, their abilities, and how motivated they are to do well.

In addition to learning new verses each day, a quizzer must also review previously learned verses. We recommend that a quizzer quote all of their learned material every day throughout the quiz season. To be a good quizzer requires dedication and good study habits. Typically, a quizzer will spend 30 minutes to 90 minutes studying and reviewing every day of the quiz season. In reality, this means that a quizzer's parents must be willing to dedicate 30 to 90 minutes a day to helping their child with Bible quizzing.

There are many resources available to help quizzers in learning their verse material. The best place to start looking for study aids is BQ Powers. We have also developed a software tool to keep track of daily quote sessions and progress, called BQQuote.

Becoming a Coach

Every quiz team is comprised of a head coach and an assistant coach. The coaches decide how often the team practices each week, set study assignments for the week, help quizzers with their study skills and quizzing skills, motivate the quizzers, prepare quizzers for tournament competition, and test quizzer progress and abilities.

Teams usually practice once or twice a week at a regularly scheduled time. A coach can conduct quiz practice in many different ways. Some quiz practice activities can include quoting, drills, and practice quizzes. Coaches can be creative in practicing and motivating quizzers to improve their skills. Question sets for practices can be purchased from many different individuals, many of which are advertised on this site. The best place to start looking is BQ Powers, which also has other resources to help coaches in their ministry.

At tournaments, the head coach usually follows the questions by referring to the quiz material and makes decisions concerning time outs and contests, while the assistant coach usually keeps score (which entails paying attention to many details such as score differences, how many correct and errors each quizzer has, etc). We have developed a software tool to help coaches, called BQTournament. BQTournament keeps score during quizzes, and does all math for you while keeping track of everything a coach needs to keep track of during a quiz (time outs remaining, contests remaining, quiz outs, error outs, score differences, points remaining, etc). This software also lets coaches do material lookup by verse reference or words. In addition, the software gives coaching hints such as how many questions remain before the quiz is locked (a team has enough points to win barring no mistakes).

Team Structure

A team must have at least two quizzers and not more than five registered for any tournament. In each quiz, a team must have a minimum of two quizzers seated at the table to quiz; maximum competing is three. The unassigned team members will be available as substitutes, and sit in seats located a few feet behind the quiz table with the coaches. If a quiz team has three or more quizzers, three quizzers must be used at the board. If a quiz team has only two, both must be used at the board.

One of the team members is designated as the team captain. The captain must be seated at the right hand of his/her team mates.

Quiz Game Structure

In every quiz, a red team quizzes against a yellow team. The red team is always seated to the left of the quizmaster, and the yellow team is always seated to the right of the quizmaster. The quizmaster reads the questions and presides over the quiz. Each quiz also has two judges, two scorekeepers (who also keep time and operate the buzzer system), and one foul judge.

Every junior quiz has 15 questions (6 10-point, 6 20-point, and 3 30-point questions). Every senior quiz has 20 questions (8 10-point, 9 20-point, and 3 30-point questions). Each quizzer seated at the quiz table has a buzzer handle that he or she presses to buzz-in and answer a question. The first quizzer to buzz-in is given 30 seconds to respond.

Question Types

Note that there can be combinations of the question types. For example, there can be a two-part cross reference question asked in a quiz.

Tournament Structure

There are basically two types of tournaments in Bible Quiz competition: round robin tournaments and double elimination tournaments. Round robin tournaments are usually used in quiz districts with few teams so that the teams get to play more quizzes. District finals and national tournaments are always double elimination tournaments.

In a round robin tournament, each team plays every other team once, regardless of if they win or lose each quiz. In a double elimination tournament, there are three rounds of competition: round 1 winners bracket, round 2, and the championship round. Each team quizzes and advances in round 1 until they lose a quiz. Only one team will come out of round 1 with no loss. In round 2, all of the teams get another chance to advance in the bracket. A team keeps quizzing and advancing in the matrix until they lose a quiz, at which point they have been doubly eliminated (have two total losses). Only one team will come out of round 2 without a second loss. This winner of round 2 then plays against the winner of round 1 until one of the two teams has two losses.

How to Start a Bible Quiz Team

The General Sunday School Division has produced a document entitled "How to Start a Local Junior Bible Quiz Program". The Oregon Bible Quizzing website also has a great summary of how to start a quiz team. For information on how to reach your own district coordinator, contact us. We need to know which district your church is in as well as the quiz divisions (beginner, junior, int sr, exp sr) for which you plan to have teams.