Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate?
Schools can field unlimited teams at regional rounds. Teams are welcome to participate at multiple regional rounds, though they should be separated by at least a month. Teams that qualify at regional rounds can participate at their choice of Global Rounds.
What type of student participates?
The World Scholar's Cup isn't just for the "top" three students at each school; it's meant to reach deep into the student population, inspiring a love of learning and introducing participants to new subjects and skills.
What are costs of participation?
The World Scholar's Cup is a not-for-profit organization. All our materials are free to all participants. There is usually a small tournament fee that varies by round to help cover tournament expenses, including bringing our staff out to manage the event. We almost always provide meals as part of that fee.
Is the World Scholar’s Cup too much work for students who are already busy?
We designed the World Scholar's Cup knowing how many commitments students already need to juggle. Most teams prepare for two to eight weeks for a round, and split topics up between team members.
What if I don’t have a teammate?
Students may also register individually and ask to be joined with other scholars looking for teammates.
Do all members of a team need to be from the same school?
No; you can form mixed teams with students from other schools or countries. It is not as common, but can be a great opportunity to get to know students outside your school.
What are the divisions?
The junior division includes students up to 14 years old; though there is no bottom cut-off, most participants are at least 10. The senior division is for students 15 and older. To ensure consistent divisions throughout the 2016 season, any student who turns 15 by July 1, 2016 will be considered a senior division student. Primary events are also held in select countries for students 11 and younger only.
My team qualified for the Global Round or the Tournament of Champions, but one of my teammates can’t make it. What do I do?
Qualified teams may substitute one member each with a new unqualified participant. Qualified teams may also merge with other qualified teams to ensure they meet the minimum requirement of two qualified team members on a team.
Do teams need coaches or teachers-in-charge?
Most schools have a program advisor or sponsor who helps teams plan and prepare for tournaments. However, the program is mostly student-driven, and at many schools there is no specific “club advisor”, just a chaperone who accompanies teams to events.
What if I don't have three members on my team?
Two-member teams are welcome to compete, but can score a maximum of 30,000 instead of 40,000 points and are extremely unlikely to win team recognition in Collaborative Writing, the Scholar's Challenge, or Team Debate, as they will be missing one third of their scores in each of these events. They are on equal footing for Team Bowl, as well as all individual awards. As the World Scholar's Cup is built around teams of three, two-person teams will be required to reach the same threshold as three-person teams to receive berths to the Global Round and the Tournament of Champions. If you are in search of someone to complete your team, please let us know, and we'll happily help you find someone.
When is it?
Regional rounds take place around the world throughout the year. The Global Round is usually held at the end of June; Mini-Global Rounds increasingly take place throughout the year. The Tournament of Champions at Yale University is in November. Additional rounds are announced frequently on our calendar page.
What are the Team Events?
In Team Debate, you'll face teams from other schools and countries, three-on-three, and argue motions related to the theme.
In Scholar's Bowl, your team will race the clock to answer questions using a special clicker.
In Collaborative Writing, you'll work with your team to argue positions related to the theme in written form.
In Scholar's Challenge, you'll take a test called the Scholar's Challenge: an opportunity to win individual medals and other prizes across multiple subjects.
What community-building activities take place at each round?
In the Scholar's Scavenge, you'll work with up to 11 students from 11 other countries to solve a series of clues and take an ever wackier series of photos.
In the Debate Showcase, the top 12 debaters from 12 different countries are formed into new teams that quickly learn to work together in front of the whole community.
In the Scholar's (Talent) Show, you'll perform whatever you'd like, whether you’re a professional dancer or a mathematical constant reciter.
In the Scholar's Ball, you'll have the chance to socialize over music and ice cream. There isn't always that much dancing.
At the Keynote Address and Panels, you’ll meet knowledgeable guest speakers from some of the world’s leading firms and universities, and then challenge them with your own questions and thoughts.