Information about the format and schedule for NET 2022 will posted in January 2022. For reference, the rules and format of NET 2020 are included below.
Student competitors must be enrolled in a high school in one of grades 9-12 for the current academic school year - or if home-schooled, be of high school standing.
Each team must consist of 4 students, and each school may send only one team.
All team members must be from the same high school.
Each team must be accompanied by an advisor who is afaculty memberat the team's high school OR aparent/guardianof one of the team members.
16 teams will be allowed to register for the tournament. There will be a waitlist for additional teams that can enter the tournament if any already-entered teams cancel their registration.
Each team should designate a team captain, who will be responsible for answering bonus questions and signing the score sheet after each match.
The tournament consists of a team-based Power Round in the morning and the Economics Bowl in the afternoon.
The Power Round is a team-based free-response written exam.
The Economics Bowl consists of two segments: a round robin and a single-elimination bracket.
For the round robin, the 16 teams will be randomly divided into four divisions of four teams each. Each team will play every other team in its division. A similar schedule can be found here.
The top team from each division will advance to a single elimination tournament. The matchups between group winners for the first round of the single-elimination tournament will be random. The winner of the single elimination bracket will be declared the winner of the Economics Bowl. A similar bracket to be used can be found here.
Question difficulty generally ranges from high school-level to introductory undergraduate-level content.
The power round is a written, team-based exam. All four members of a team collaborate to complete around 10 free response questions in 75 minutes.
Each question will be worth a specific number of points, and point values will be denoted on the exam. Incorrect or unanswered questions receive zero points, and there is no penalty for guessing. Partial credit may be awarded.
No calculators, notes, or any other helping tools may be used during the exam. Scrap paper is provided.
One of the questions will be a tiebreaker question, but teams will NOT know in advance which question is the tie-breaker question. This question will only be graded if the two highest-scoring teams earn equal numbers of points on the ten free response questions. The team that earns more points on this tie-breaker question will be declared the winner.
If there is still a tie after the tiebreaker question is factored into both teams’ scores, a final five question runoff buzzer round will be administered, with the same rules as the Economics Bowl.
Economics Bowl Rules
The rules and format have been slightly modified for the 2020 competition. Please review the changes below and view the NET 2020 Sample Round.
Questions are in pairs of toss-ups and bonuses. The team that successfully answers the toss-up will have an opportunity to answer the bonus question.
No communication between players is permitted during toss-up questions. Players are encouraged to collaborate to answer bonus questions.
Questions will occur in Multiple Choice and Short Answer format. The question format will be specified by the moderator before the question is read.
Matches will consist of 15 pairs of toss-ups and bonuses (30 questions total)
Round robin and single elimination matches will last 15 minutes or until all 15 questions have been read, whichever occurs first.
If the round time ends while a question is in progress, the round will end after the bonus is completed.
Toss-ups are answered individually. Players may NOT collaborate to answer a toss-up.
Each player can buzz in. The moderator will read questions that all eight players have an opportunity to answer.
To answer a question, a player must buzz in using the lockout buzzer system. After a question is read, players have five seconds to buzz in.
The player that buzzes in will be recognized by the moderator in the following manner: “Seat 4.” Only the player that is recognized is allowed to give an answer.
Players should wait until they are recognized by the moderator before giving their answer.
Once recognized, players have 3 seconds to provide an answer. If an answer is not provided within three seconds, or there is a significant delay while providing an answer, the moderator will call a “stall” and the question will be counted as incorrect. Prefacing remarks that do not answer a question, such as “my answer is…” will be counted as incorrect. Judgement calls by the moderators are final.
If a question is answered correctly, the team that answered the question correctly is awarded 4 points and the bonus will be read to them.
If a question is answered incorrectly, the team that did not provide an answer will have an opportunity to buzz in.
If the question was read in its entirety, the second team is allowed 5 seconds to buzz in after the moderator indicates an incorrect answer or blurt.
If the question was not read in its entirety (in the case of an unsuccessful interrupt), the question will be re-read for the second team, who will have five seconds to answer after it is read.
If the second team answers the question correctly, this team is awarded 4 points and the bonus will be read to them.
If both teams are unsuccessful with a toss-up, the bonus is not read. The moderator will identify the correct answer to the toss-up and proceed to the next toss-up.
Once read in its entirety, a question will not be re-read.
The team that successfully answers the toss-up question will have an opportunity to answer the bonus.
After the bonus question is read, the team captain has 20 seconds to provide an answer.
Team members may collaborate during a bonus. The opposing team (that does not have the bonus) should remain silent during this time.
Only the answer from the team captain will be accepted for the bonus. Attempts to answer the bonus from members who are not the captain will not be accepted.
Acceptable Answer Formats
Multiple choice questions may be answered in one of three ways:
Letter only (e.g. W, X, Y, or Z)
Verbal answer only (e.g. “upwards”)
Letter AND verbal answer (e.g. “W, upwards”)
If the verbal answer is provided, it must match the question exactly as it is read by the moderator or as is written (e.g. “leftwards” or “up” will be incorrect if the question indicates “upwards”).
For short answer questions, equivalent answers will be accepted. Numerical answers must be given in exact and simplest form.
A player may buzz in before a question is read in its entirety; this is called an “interrupt.”
The moderator will recognize the player and the interrupt in the following manner: “Seat 4, interrupt.”
If a player interrupts and answers the question correctly, the player’s team is awarded 4 points.
If a player interrupts and answers incorrectly, the opposing team is awarded 4 points. The question will be re-read for the opposing team, who will have an opportunity to answer.
Correct toss-ups are worth 4 points.
Correct bonuses are worth 10 points.
Incorrect answers receive 0 points.
If a team interrupts and answers incorrectly, the opposing team is awarded 4 points.
If team members are found collaborating during a toss-up, the opposing team is awarded 4 points.
If a player provides an answer before they are recognized by the moderator (i.e., “blurts”) the opposing team is awarded 4 points. If applicable, the question will be re-read for the opposing team, who will have an opportunity to buzz in.
If a team is participating in distracting behavior during another team’s bonus, they will receive a warning from the moderator. Any other instances of distracting behavior after the first warning will result in 4 points being awarded to the opposing team.
Under no circumstances will points be subtracted from a team’s score total.
At the end of each match, a representative from each team will sign a sheet verifying the round score and outcome.
The team with the most points at the end of the match will be declared the winner of that match. No ties can occur during the single-elimination bracket.
In the round robin portion, teams receive 2 bracket points for a win, 1 bracket point for a tie, and no bracket points for a loss.
The team with the most bracket points in each division will advance to the single-elimination tournament.
In the event that two teams in the same division are tied in round-robin points, the team with the highest number of points earned in all rounds will advance to the single-elimination tournament.
In the event that two teams are tied in both bracket and match points, the power round will be used to break ties.
If two teams are tied in bracket, match, and in power round results (including the tiebreaker question), the two teams will proceed to compete in a five-question runoff tiebreaker (with the same interrupt penalties applying).
No ties are allowed in the single-elimination tournament. If a tie occurs once a single-elimination round has been completed, the two teams will proceed to compete in a five-question runoff tiebreaker (with the same interrupt penalties applying).
There are two types of challenges: rules and content challenges. Only the eight players in a match may issue challenges. Advisors may NOT issue challenges.
Rules challenges relate to scoring or the application of the rules (e.g. scoring). Judgement calls by moderators CANNOT be challenged.
Content challenges relate to the validity of round questions or acceptable answers.
Teams should state their challenge to a specific question before the next question is read by saying “challenge.” Once a team member challenges a question, the round time is stopped. Once a new question is read, teams may no longer challenge previous questions.
Teams are allowed to issue at most two unsuccessful content challenges per round.
The structure of the Economics Bowl is subject to change at the discretion of NET organizers, if deemed necessary for the successful and fair execution of the tournament.
No cell phones or electronic devices may be used by players, coaches, substitutes, or spectators once the match has started. If any electronic device is audible during the match, the person possessing the device must leave the room for the rest of the match, and the device may be subject to confiscation for the remainder of the tournament.
If the buzzer system significantly malfunctions during the course of a toss-up question and officials are unable to determine which of the two players buzzed in first, the round time will be paused, the question will be discarded, and the buzzer system will be replaced. When play is ready to resume, the next toss-up will be offered to both teams, or if this situation occurs on the last question of the round, the officials will obtain a replacement question.
If the moderator inadvertently responds to someone other than the captain while indicating whether an answer is correct, or to the captain before the answer is being given, the officials will replace the game time used in that bonus, and the next bonus question will be read to the team playing the bonus. If this situation occurs on the last question of the round, the officials will obtain a replacement bonus question
Awards & Prizes
Top overall highest-scoring team in the power round
Certificate of recognition signed by the Northwestern Economics Department Chair
$100 in cash prizes (given as a gift card)
Quiz-bowl overall champion team
Certificate of recognition signed by the Northwestern Economics Department Chair