Note: Below are tentative rules for NET2024. Final NET2024 Rules will be shared with teams before the event.
- Student competitors must be enrolled in a high school (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 up to two teams. In addition to the 4 students, teams may optionally send one alternate.
- Alternates can attend the tournament, whether schools attend in-person or virtual, but cannot participate unless a team member is sick or unable to compete. Before the start of a round in the Econ Bowl (either virtual or in-person), alternates may “sub in” for a team member for a round with clear verbal approval from the NET team.
- All team members must attend the same high school. Exceptions must be explicitly approved in writing by the NET Team.
- Each team must be accompanied by an advisor who is a faculty member at the team's high school OR a parent/guardian of one of the team members.
- Each team should designate a team captain, who will be responsible for answering bonus questions during the Econ Bowl and receiving all communication leading up the event.
There are two main competitive events: the Power Round and Econ Bowl
- Both virtual and in-person teams will take the Power Round asynchronously before the NET24 weekend.
- The format and rules of the Econ Bowl differ depending on the selected modality (virtual or in-person).
- Sample Power Round and Econ Bowl questions are available on the NET website.
- Note: The percentages below are approximate.
- 50% Macroeconomics (for example, but not limited to: Trade, Growth, Fiscal/Monetary Policy, History)
- 50% Microeconomics (for example, but not limited to: Industrial Organization, Public Finance, Microeconomic Theory, Econometrics)
- 30% Macroeconomics (for example, but not limited to: Trade, Growth, Fiscal/Monetary Policy)
- 30% Microeconomics (for example, but not limited to: Industrial Organization, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory)
- 10% Current Events
- 10% Economic History
- 10% History of Economic Thought
- 5% Finance
- 5% Econometrics
POWER ROUND RULES
- Teams will be assigned one of two divisions based on their prior math and and/or economics experience. Besides question difficulty, there are no other differences between the two divisions. The NET Team will make the final decision regarding division placement.
- The Power Round is a written, team-based exam. All four members of a team collaborate to complete up to 6 free response questions in 120 minutes (2 hours).
- Each question is worth the same number of points (excluding bonus parts), 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.
- The two lowest-scoring questions will not be considered in the final score.
- 2 weeks prior to the date of the in-person competition, teams will be emailed about when during the April 2nd, 2024 to April 4th, 2024 exam window they plan to take the test.
- Tests will be emailed to teams based on when they indicate they are taking the test. Answers are expected to be submitted within a 2 hour window after receiving the test. Teams will be given a 30 minute grace period to submit their solutions.
- Calculators and notes are allowed, but use of the internet is strictly prohibited.
- Only the four team members (and one alternate, only if a team member is sick or otherwise unable to participate) are allowed to contribute to the completion of the Power Round. Teams may NOT seek outside help from advisors, parents, teachers, other students, former Economics Nobel Laureates, etc. Additionally, teams may NOT use any form of generative AI including, but not limited to Bard or ChatGPT. If teams have questions, find any errors in the exam, or require clarification, they should contact NET. Teams found in violation of these rules will be disqualified from the competition and their school may be barred from participating in future NET events.
- One of the questions will be a tie-breaker 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 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 tiebreaker question will be sent to both teams to complete. If both teams achieve equal scores on this exam as well, a tie will be declared and both teams congratulated for their dexterous economic knowledge.
- Power Round winners will be announced on Sunday, April 7th, at the NET24 Closing Ceremony. Specific scores for each team will be released to teams after the event.
In Person Teams
The format of the in-person competition is subject to change at any time subject to local and Northwestern policies.
In Person Econ Bowl Rules
- The Econ Bowl consists of two stages:
- Preliminary Rounds: Teams will play a total of eight matches across ten Preliminary Rounds. The first four match pairings will be determined completely randomly. The next four match pairings will be determined based on each team’s records from previous rounds. Teams with similar records will be paired.
- Single Elimination Bracket: The top four teams from the Preliminary Rounds will advance to a single elimination bracket, with seeding based on results from the Preliminary Rounds. The winner of the single elimination bracket will be declared the winner of the Econ Bowl.
- Each round consists of two teams competing head-to-head in a verbal competition featuring a lockout buzzer system.
- Teams earn points by buzzing in and answering questions. The team with the most points at the end of the match is the winner of that match.
- Teams consist of four players and one alternate. One player for each team should be designated as the captain: the captain is responsible for answering the bonus questions on behalf of their team. For any given match, notwithstanding any extenuating circumstances, the same set of four players must play throughout the match. Alternates may “sub in” between rounds, but NOT during rounds.
- 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 permitted to collaborate to answer bonus questions.
- Toss-ups will appear in short answer form. There will be no computational questions in toss-ups.
- Bonuses will occur in Short Answer format. Basic mathematical computations may appear in bonuses, but not toss-ups.
- Matches will consist of 15 pairs of toss-ups and bonuses (30 questions total)
- Matches will last until all 15 questions have been read.
- Toss-ups are answered individually by the player that buzzes. Players may NOT collaborate to answer a toss-up.
- Once the moderator starts reading the question, any player can buzz in at any time (see “interrupting” below). A player must buzz in using the lockout buzzer system. After a question is read in its entirety, players will have five seconds to buzz in, after which point the moderator will move on to the next toss-up question, skipping the bonus.
- The player that buzzes in will be recognized by the moderator explicitly by naming the number associated with that player in the lockout buzzer system. Only the player that is recognized is allowed to give an answer.
- Once recognized, players have approximately 3 seconds to begin providing an answer. If an answer is not provided within that time 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 beginning an answer. Judgment calls by the moderators are final.
- If a question is answered correctly, the team that answered the question correctly is awarded 5 points and the bonus will be read to them.
- If a question is answered incorrectly, the opposing team that did not provide an answer will have an opportunity to buzz in. However, collaboration or communication at any point by the opposing team is strictly prohibited.
- 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.
- In most cases, questions 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 approximately 20 seconds to provide an answer. After this time, the moderator will prompt the team captain for an answer. If no answer is given promptly, the bonus will be forfeited and no bonus points will be awarded.
- Team members may collaborate during a bonus. The opposing team (that does not have the bonus) must 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.
- A correct bonus will be worth 3 points.
- A player may buzz in before a toss-up is read in its entirety; this is called an “interrupt.”
- The moderator will recognize the player who interrupted. Players MUST wait until they are recognized before they speak. Interruptions must be done via the lockout buzzer system, which will automatically notify the moderator who buzzed in first in the event of a perceptual tie.
- If a player interrupts and answers the toss-up correctly, the player’s team is awarded 5 points and the bonus will be read to them.
- If a player interrupts and answers incorrectly, the question will continue being read, and the opposing team will have an opportunity to answer in a manner consistent with the rules above.
- The team that answered incorrectly may not buzz in again for this question.
- Correct toss-ups are worth 5 points.
- Correct bonuses are worth 3 points.
- Incorrect answers receive 0 points.
- If team members are found collaborating during a toss-up, the team will receive a warning, but further violations will result in the opposing team being awarded 3 points. The collaborating team forfeits their ability to answer that toss-up question.
- If a player provides an answer before they are recognized by the moderator (i.e., “blurts”), they will receive a warning, but further violations will result in the opposing team being awarded 3 points. If applicable, the question will be re-read for the opposing team, who will have an opportunity to buzz in. The team which blurted will not 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 5 points being awarded to the opposing team.
- 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.
- The top four teams with the best Win/Loss record from the Preliminary Round will advance to the single-elimination Bracket.
- In the event that two teams are tied in the Preliminary Round and this tie matters for purposes of determining the single-elimination bracket, the team which won the pair’s head-to-head match will advance to the single-elimination tournament.
- Further, in the event that the head-to-head match resulted in a tie (or they did not face head-to-head), the team with the highest number of points earned in all rounds will advance to the single-elimination tournament.
- Further, if two teams are tied in match points, the two teams will proceed to compete in a 5 toss-up-only runoff tiebreaker with the same rules regarding toss-ups as above.
- 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 5 toss-up runoff tiebreaker with the same rules regarding toss-ups as above.
- There are two types of challenges: rules and content challenges. Only the eight players in a match may issue challenges. Advisors and alternates may NOT issue challenges.
- “Rules challenges” relate to scoring or the application of the rules (e.g. scoring). Judgment calls by moderators (e.g. whether a blurt had occurred) 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.
- The structure of the Econ 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, advisors, 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 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.
Virtual Econ Bowl Rules
- The virtual Econ Bowl consists of two stages: the Preliminary Rounds and the Elimination Rounds.
- In all rounds, two teams will enter a Competition Room (in the form of a Zoom meeting) with the NET moderators. After briefly reviewing the rules, teams will verbally answer a series of economics questions for points, competing head-to-head with another predetermined team.
- For the Preliminary Rounds:
- Teams will be randomly assigned into one of eight groups, each with four teams.
- Over the course of six Preliminary Rounds, each team will play each other team in their group, playing a total of three matches.
- Teams’ overall record will be compared once all teams have competed in the Preliminary Round.
- For the Elimination Rounds:
- The team with the best record in each group will advance to an eight-team single elimination bracket. The winner of the single elimination bracket will be announced as winner of the virtual Econ Bowl.
- All times will be published in Central Daylight Time (UTC−05:00), which is the local time in Chicago. Teams outside of this time zone are responsible for converting published times into their local time zone.
- All players, alternates, and advisors should ensure that they have a functioning Zoom account and a stable Internet connection.
- Members of a team can join the Zoom room individually from their own devices (i.e. if all students are at home), or together from the same device (i.e. if all students are in the same room). In any case, please ensure that all team members can be heard and seen.
- A team includes four players and an optional alternate. Only four students from each team shall compete at a time. The alternate may join the Zoom meeting but cannot communicate with the four competing students. In the event that one player disconnects in the middle of a question, the remaining members of the team should continue competing. Prior to starting the next question, teams should wait for the player to disconnect. If a player is unable to connect after a substantial period of time, their team may be forced to continue without them. If a substitution is necessary, the remaining players should indicate to the moderator that they are substituting a player, after which the substituting player joins the competing students. If only three students are able to connect, the team is still eligible to compete.
- The competing team members, the advisor, and the team alternate (if applicable) will join their scheduled Zoom meeting with the NET moderators.
- Please join your Econ Bowl Zoom meeting five minutes early. Ensure your name on Zoom matches the name used in registration. You may be placed in a waiting room before entry.
- Teams will compete head-to-head across all matches, and the winner of each match will be determined by which team has the most points at the end of the round.
- The rounds will consist of 10 questions per team for a total of 20 questions.
- Each team will be given a 10-second time window after the reading of the question to provide their answer. Thus the overall approximate time per round will be 10 minutes of competition and 20 minutes for introductions, questions, and practice questions, along with any possible technical difficulties.
- Each team member should have their video on for the duration of the Econ Bowl slot. During the live competition, each team must also have their microphone on. If teams wish to discuss their answers, they must discuss their answer through the official NET Zoom call, having their discussion heard by both moderators and the opposing team. Any alternative forms of communication, such as texting or an alternative videoconference is strictly prohibited. After one warning, any violations of these rules will result in disqualification.
- After a brief introduction to NET and a quick clarification of the rules by the moderator, we will do two practice questions to adjust to the format.
- Before each question, the moderator will state the team that will have the first opportunity to answer. The moderator will then read the question out loud.
- The team with the first opportunity to answer will have 10 seconds to discuss (through the official NET Zoom) and reach a consensus. This time window will start immediately after the moderator finishes reading the question.
- To answer the question, any competing team member must say “FINAL ANSWER” then state their answer. We recommend that teams designate one person (for example, the team captain) to deliver the final answer. However, any of the four competing team members may answer.
- If a question is answered correctly, the team will receive one point.
- If a team answers within five seconds of the question being read, the team will receive two points. The NET Team will make all official timing decisions regarding scoring and all decisions are final.
- If a question is answered incorrectly, the team will receive no points and the opposing team will be given an opportunity to “steal” and answer the question. The opposing team will have 10 seconds to discuss and reach a consensus. The question will not be re-read. If they answer correctly, they will receive one point. If they answer within five seconds of being recognized by the narrator, the team will receive two points.
- Technical difficulties aside, questions will generally not be re-read.
- When a question is answered, the moderator will immediately announce if the answer was correct and then start the next question (if it was correct) or recognize the opposing team for their chance to “steal” (if it was incorrect).
- Each team is guaranteed the first opportunity to answer 10 total questions, with then 10 opportunities to “steal” the other team's question if the other team gets all of their questions wrong. If teams answer all questions within 5 seconds, they will receive 2 points per question. Therefore, the maximum possible number of points per match is 40. If both teams answer all of their questions correctly within 5 seconds each team will receive 20 points.
Acceptable Answer Formats
- For short answer questions, equivalent wordings will be accepted. Numerical answers must be given in exact and simplest form.
- Team members must say “FINAL ANSWER” before stating the answer. Anything a team member says before they say “FINAL ANSWER” will not be acknowledged by the moderators.
- Each question will have the same point value of 1. There are no fractional point values.
- If a team answers within five seconds after the question has finished being read (or recognized by the moderator in the case of a “steal”), the team will be awarded 2 points.
- Incorrect answers receive 0 points.
- Under no circumstances will points be subtracted from a team’s score total.
- In the Preliminary Rounds, the team with the best Win-Loss record will be declared the winner of the group. If the two best teams in a group have the same Win-Loss Record, the winner of the head-to-head match between the two best teams will be the winner.
- In the Elimination Rounds, ties will be broken via the following hierarchy of tiebreakers:
- Overall number of points (including those from the Preliminary Round)
- Power Round scores
- In the highly unlikely event that teams are tied in their overall number of points AND their Power Round score, a runoff set of questions (with the same rules and timing) will be administered to both teams shortly following the Final Round.
- There are two types of challenges: rules and content challenges.
- For the virtual competition, challenges can come from the four players, the alternate, and the coach.
- Rules challenges relate to scoring or the application of the rules (e.g. scoring). Judgment 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, play is paused. 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.
- If an answer is accidentally revealed before the team provides its answer, a corresponding backup question of similar style, length, and difficulty will be selected by the moderator.
- If a participant disconnects, the timer will not be stopped and the current question will be finished. After the current question is completed, the round will pause.
- The structure of the Econ Bowl is subject to change at the discretion of NET organizers if deemed necessary for the successful and fair execution of the tournament.
- If the moderators see any unauthorized electronic device being used during the match, the person possessing the device must leave the Zoom call for the rest of the match.
- Any technical malfunctions (i.e. Zoom crashing; internet connection failing) will be dealt with on an individual basis.
- Any adjustments to the round, for example, due to connection issues, will be at the discretion of a round’s moderators.