Do I need to compete in certain competition events? Can I/my school team come just for the History Bowl?
- Battery Exam
- International History Bee World Championships
- International History Bowl World Championships
- Written Exam
- Historiography (Varsity and Junior Varsity students only)
Aside from this, all participants attend both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Note that while you are welcome to come with other players from your school (assuming you all have qualified), at the Olympiad, you will be assigned (on the basis of your country/state affiliation, International History Bee World Championship preliminary round results, age division, and other criteria) to a 2- or 3-student team. This may or may not be with other school team members, but in any case, please do not come expecting that you will definitely be competing together with your school teammates. It is not permitted to come just for the History Bowl (or any other event, for that matter).
What if my school or university starts again before the end of the Olympiad? Or if I have some other pressing event that precludes me from being at the Olympiad during the entire time?
While only a few events are mandatory, you cannot specifically just come for a portion of the Olympiad unless you gain special dispensation from Olympiad staff due to school attendance requirements or some comparable family event / religious holiday / other suitable reason. Please note that while we will try and be flexible to the extent possible, we are not able to grant partial discounts, and we cannot guarantee partial stays until we have reviewed your situation and seen if it is feasible for a student to attend. If you are interested in a partial stay at the Olympiad, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your situation.
The Olympiad’s official language is English. If English is not your mother tongue, we can provide you with a bilingual dictionary that you can use for all the non-buzzer-based events.
For the 2023 International History Olympiad, we will offer four divisions: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Middle School, and Elementary.
Students from the United States and Canada compete in the following divisions:
- Varsity – Enrolled in grades 11 or 12 during the 2022-23 academic year.
- Junior Varsity – Enrolled in grades 9 or 10 during the 2022-23 academic year.
- Middle School – Enrolled in grades 7 or 8 during the 2022-23 academic year.
- Elementary – Enrolled in grades 4, 5, or 6 during the 2022-23 academic year.
Students from outside the United States and Canada are assigned to divisions based on
- Varsity – Born on or before August 31, 2006 who are enrolled in a secondary school (not university-level schooling) on January 1, 2023.
- Junior Varsity – Students born between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2008.
- Middle School – Students born between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2010.
- Elementary – Students born between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2013.
Please note that students may compete in a different division than the one that they qualified in if they qualified in the 2021-22 school year (for example, a student who qualified in grade 8 in the 2021-22 year would have qualified in the Middle School division, but would compete in the Olympiad after the end of grade 9, and therefore would be competing in the Junior Varsity division).
At the Olympiad, citizens and residents of the USA will represent their state, while citizens and residents of the rest of the world will represent their country. The preliminary rounds of the International History Bee World Championships will be used to determine the composition of National and State teams for the team events at the Olympiad. Normally, the top three students from a country or state will form the A Team for that country of state, the next top three scoring students will form Team B and so on per age group. However, some teams may consist of just two students due to the need for rounding, while solo students will be paired up either with a higher age division within one’s country or state or with students from a different country or state. Solo teams will not be permitted.
For each division, there will be an individual Olympiad champion. For the Elementary and Middle School Divisions, this is the student with the combined highest position in the International History Bee World Championships, Battery Exam, and Written Exam. For the Junior Varsity and Varsity Divisions, this is the student with the combined highest position in the Battery Exam, Historiography competition, and the Written Exam). There will also be a champion country or state based on the highest position in the medals count (this is for all divisions combined aside from the Collegiate Division).
If there are ties, ties will be broken on the rank points principle through a final tiebreaker. This would consist of 5 History Bee buzzer questions, 1 short answer prompt (6 sentences maximum), and 5 multiple choice questions, with all parts having equal weight. For the Varsity and JV Divisions, a primary source based question would be used instead of the History Bee buzzer questions.
If, for example, 2 students each score the same on the multiple choice, this tie will only be broken if needed (through additional multiple choice questions as necessary) to determine the medal positions (i.e. if two students tie on multiple choice, but then one other students wins both the other parts, then the tie isn’t broken).
Qualification is conducted through participation in regional, national, and international qualifying events. You can learn more about how to qualify here.
Any student who qualified and was born before September 1, 2013 can compete. Students competing in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions are welcome to come if they have qualified but they must come with a parent or guardian. If you have already qualified but are too young to take part in 2023, you may defer your registration until you are old enough to compete. The Olympiad is open to students attending local schools, international schools, American schools, British schools, public schools, private schools, religious schools, homeschooling, etc.
Any student who qualified and was born before September 1, 2013 can compete. Students competing in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions are welcome to come if they have qualified but they must come with a parent or guardian. If you have already qualified but are too young to take part in 2023, you may defer your registration until you are old enough to compete.
No, there is no maximum age, as long as you qualified this year or last year for the Olympiad, you can attend, provided you were enrolled in secondary school or a homeschool equivalent on January 1, 2023.
No, you don’t, and a lot of students will be coming on their own, too. And you won’t feel alone for long, as you will make friends from all around the world, who share the same passion for history!
Yes, if a pandemic-related cancellation of the Olympiad takes place in advance of it, then participation fees will be reimbursed in full, minus any transaction fees we incur through sending wire transfers. If cancellation needs to take place during the event itself, then registration costs will be refunded on a prorated basis depending on how much of the Olympiad has taken place until then.
Refunds for this reason will be provided in accordance with the Olympiad refund policy; there is not a separate category for refunds stemming from these grounds.
Yes, absolutely, with no exceptions whatsoever. This is for the health and safety of all concerned. This is a prerequisite for anyone coming in person to the Olympiad, including students, staff, and all parents, friends, and family members.
Varsity and Junior Varsity students will have the option of staying on-campus (at the host school) or off-campus (at a nearby hotel) under the supervision of Olympiad staff. Middle School and Elementary students are required to attend with a parent or guardian and stay with that parent/guardian.
We will try to accommodate rooming preferences as much as possible but cannot make any guarantees. Students who are staying in IAC-arranged accommodations will be given the opportunity to request roommates in spring 2023.
A team composed of IAC staff members and teachers will staff the Olympiad and supervise the attending students. All staff members are required to submit to a background check, provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, and be trained in First Aid/CPR.
Students in the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions do not need to come with a coach or parent. Olympiad staff members will serve as counselors and chaperones for these students throughout the program. Students competing in the Middle School and Elementary divisions must attend with a parent or legal guardian who is responsible for bringing the student to and from the Olympiad each day. Note that the designated guardian can be the parent or family member of a different competing student, but we must receive written confirmation of such an arrangement from both students’ families for this to be valid.
For Varsity and Junior Varsity students who are coming to the Olympiad without a parent or guardian, Olympiad staff will meet them at their point of arrival (Rome–Fiumicino International Airport, Rome–Ciampino International Airport, or Rome Termini Station). IAC does not provide airport or train station pickups for students who are coming to the Olympiad with accompanying adults, but will provide travel instructions from both the airport and train station to the school.
Yes, all of these people are welcome to attend the Olympiad! Further information for parents and spectators, including directions on securing accommodations, is outlined here.