The Moderator is THE person responsible for controlling each match. It is important that you are familiar with how the game is played and all of the contest rules. It is, therefore, extremely important that you review the rules well in advance of the actual event.
The NOSB is primarily an oral competition in which two student teams attempt to answer toss-up, bonus, and Team Challenge Questions. At the Regional and Finals competition, the end of the first half is followed by 2 Team Challenge Questions. After the Team Challenge Questions, there is a minimum 2 minute break at which time the science judge or runner takes the question to the Judges’ Appeals Room for grading.
1. The first half of any competition round begins after the Moderator identifies the subject area of the first toss-up question. The Moderator identifies: 1) whether it is a toss-up or bonus question, 2) the subject area, and 3) whether it is multiple-choice or short-answer, before reading the question. If a contestant elects to answer the toss-up question, he/she activates the lock-out system (an electronic device which “locks out” all other contestants and identifies the student who wishes to answer the toss-up question). You then verbally recognize the student. Should the student answer the toss-up question correctly, the student’s team receives 4 points and is awarded a bonus question. A correct answer to the bonus questions results in the team receiving an additional 6 points. Play then continues by reading the next toss-up question to the two teams.
2. As a toss-up question is read, a student may interrupt the reading of the question. If you verbally recognize the student and he/she answers correctly, that team is awarded 4 points, and the team wins the right to answer a bonus question. If the student interrupts the question, is verbally recognized, but answers the toss-up question incorrectly, 4 points are deducted from the score of the student’s team and the question is re-read in its entirety for the opposing team. That team may answer the toss-up question for a chance at the bonus.
3. A student MUST wait to be verbally recognized by the Moderator before beginning to answer the toss-up questions. If a student answers a toss-up before being verbally recognized, the response is considered a “blurt.” You should not reveal whether the answer was correct or incorrect and the toss-up question is offered to the opposing team. This rule is necessary to avoid situations where two team members think they have activated the lock-out system and blurt out simultaneous answers.
4. If both teams can’t answer a toss up and the question becomes “dead,” be sure to share the answer with the teams.
5. If the Moderator inadvertently gives an answer to a toss-up or bonus question without giving either team a chance to respond, or gives the answer to a toss-up question or a bonus question before allowing the second team to respond (after an incorrect answer or blurt), the question is removed from the competition and no points are awarded. The Moderator will read the next question in sequence in place of the inadvertently answered question.
6. The Team Challenge Questions are NOT read aloud. Instead, you should announce that it is time for the Team Challenge Question portion, at which point the Rules Judge will hand the page to each team member face down. You will have a short announcement to read to the two teams before you tell them to begin the question. (This announcement will either be in the packet with the question, taped to your table top, or displayed on your computer if using the eOSB.) Each Team Challenge Question has a different time period between 2 minutes and 5 minutes in length. At the end of the specified time period, the captain must turn in the answer sheet to the Science Judge.
7. Only players (not the audience, coach, or alternate) may challenge a Moderator’s ruling on an answer. The challenge must come before the Moderator begins the next toss-up or bonus question at which time the Moderator will request the timekeeper to stop the clock. The science judge will make a ruling or take the challenge to the Judges’ Appeals room. If the team disagrees with the first ruling, the challenge must go out of the room to the Judges’ Appeals room where all decisions are final. All challenges to the rules will collectively be decided upon in the room, unless the team challenges a second time, then the challenge must go to the Head Rules Judge in the Judges’ Appeals room. There are no challenges on Team Challenge Questions.
8. Any competition official that feels a situation demands a warning due to poor behavior during a competition match will request that the game clock be stopped. The officials will then collectively make a decision to either issue a warning or not. Warnings are issued by the rules judge and may be given to individual players, an entire team competing, or to members of the audience (including coaches). More than two (2) warnings results in disqualification.
9. The game is over when the second half ends or all toss-up questions have been read. The winning team is the one with the greater point total.
10. Before going to the next round, fill out the official score sheet, noting any warnings that were issued, and ensuring that both team captains initial it before departing. Return the official score sheet, the score sheets used by scorekeeper, and the used Team Challenge Question packets to Ocean Bowl Central.
11. You will be provided with the questions for your games in advance of the actual event. It is important that you read all the questions aloud before the competition to (1) help ensure that you read the questions smoothly and (2) allow you to make certain you know the pronunciations of scientific terms.