:: Rules and Regulations ::

Team Assignments for Regional & State Battles:

Each school shall send the names of its participating students to the coordinator of the regional or state Battle at least two weeks prior to the Battle. Team assignments are made from a random drawing of all names received. Last minute substitutions and cancellations can be made the morning of the Battle if necessary, but please submit names early to avoid "Battle-Morning Mayhem."

The regional coordinator will draw names and make up the teams to reflect an even number of members on all teams when possible. Although a random draw is used, the coordinator may reassign some participants to assure a diverse representation of schools and districts on each team. In other words, each team of approximately six members will come from different schools and districts whenever possible. There must be an even number of teams to ensure that each team has an opponent for each round.

In some instances students should be selected for each team. For example, at some school sites students are only able to read about five books each. Therefore team members are selected in order to guarantee that each book has been read by at least one student of the team.

Team lists, including participant's name and school, will be posted in the INFORMATION CENTER the morning of the Battle. Each team is assigned a mascot or pennant that will be carried during the competition. The team will be known by its mascot's name for the duration of the contest.

Room Assignments:

Before the battle, the coordinator will assign team match-ups and rooms for the rounds of play. Match-ups must be coordinated so that no two teams meet in more than one round, unless those two teams meet each other in the Final Battle.


Each room will have two officials, the READER and the TIMEKEEPER/SCORER/ JUDGE (TSJ). These officials will be chosen prior to the battle through consultation of the coordinator and other s on the Battle of the Books Committee. The reader will be a member of the community and the TSJ will be someone who clearly understands the process and procedures.

The reader will receive a packet of official questions, clearly marked for each round. He or she should go over these questions ahead of time to be sure of pronunciation. The TSJ will have a stop watch and clip board with the Battle Rules, an official title list, a score sheet, and a pencil attached.

Process and Scoring of the Battle:

  1. The team that sits on the left will be always be given first chance at the odd numbered questions, and the team on the right will always be given first chance at the even questions.
  2. Each team will tell the READER who is serving as its CAPTAIN. The READER will accept answers from only that CAPTAIN; no other team member's answer shall be heard and recorded.
  3. The "odd" team will go first and be read question number one.
  4. The team shall have 30 seconds after the reading of the question to give its response through the team CAPTAIN. Teams are encouraged to confer before giving a response. Only the first answer the CAPTAIN gives will be acceptable--the team cannot use up the time left to guess other titles.
  5. If the title is correct, the team is awarded 5 points. Then the team may have an additional 10 seconds to confer on the author and give its response. An additional 2 points shall be awarded for the correct author.
  6. If a team gives an incorrect title or author, the opposing team may pick up points for title (5 points), or author (2 points), or both. The question will be repeated to the "acquiring" team, which will then have 10 seconds in which to come up with their answer.
    NOTE: If the acquiring team does not answer correctly, play does NOT pass back to the other team.
  7. Regardless of who scored what on the last question, even numbered questions will be read to the even team, and odd numbered questions will be read to the odd team. This means that a "acquiring" team will get to answer two questions in a row--the one it acquired, followed by their own.
  8. If a team has begun its response before time is called, it will be allowed to complete it.
  9. After 12 questions have been asked, half-time score will be announced.
  10. After 24 questions have been asked, the reader must allow 15 seconds for challenges to be articulated through the team captain only. If there are no challenges, the final score will be announced and a winner will be declared. The round will be considered complete and no further challenges will be entertained. The teams will be sent on to their next round.


An answer is considered correct even if mispronounced, as long as the judge can discern it. That may mean that an incorrectly article in a title may be used or answers that are slightly off (such as Zekmet the Stone Cutter instead of Zekmet the Stone Carver) are acceptable as well. (That Stone Carver Guy is not acceptable.) A correct author's name is one that is quoted as it appears on the official Battle of the Books list. The last name only is also acceptable.


The questions are proofread and worded carefully to avoid mistakes. The most common challenge occurs when a question may have two correct answers. When the error has been proven by consulting the books, both teams will receive credit for a correct title. These challenges must occur before the round is completed.


Any team which does not appear for a round will automatically default to the team which was to be its opponent.

Grade Level Teams: Although both contests may take place on the same day, Elementary and Middle School battles should be coordinated separately so that each team meets only its own level during the rounds of play. Two separate Final Battles must take place as well. Grade levels for the Elementary Battle run from grades 4 through 6, while Middle School may be comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, or just 7th and 8th. High school is 9-12 grades.