Click here for a Printable Rules Handout 

Tournament Rules

Team members

Each team will consist of 10 members.  Teams can play any six members during a battle.  Members may be substituted between battles only. A battle is defined as one round of 10 questions for each team. The members not in play must sit quietly without talking or participating in any way while the battle is in progress.

All Star Team (an Alternate Team)

In the best of times, an equal number of teams register to participate in the Battle of the Books Tournament and no team withdraws at the last minute.  However, we anticipate this as a possibility. In this event, it will be necessary for an All Star Team to help us out. We will have a few teams designated to be All Star teams that will be able to fill the spot of a team not able to participate for whatever reason. Coaches will indicate if they have a group that could be an All Star team, and by lottery, a school or schools will be nominated to provide a second team as an All-Star team. There will need to be someone who is willing to act as a coach to the All-Star team throughout the competition (a parental supervisor). All Star Team members and coaches will join their school teams during the Parade of Readers and Celebration, where they will be recognized for their exceptional service.

Battle Flow & Timing of Questions

Each team will have the opportunity to answer 10 questions in a battle.  Opposing teams will have the chance to answer a missed question following a wrong answer.  This is called a rebound. B.O.B. Moderators will act as final judges.  Coaches or non-participating team members will act as score and timekeepers.


Scoring is cumulative. At the end of all of the battles, the top two highest scoring teams will be recognized for their outstanding achievement (1st & 2nd place) and will get to participate in a for-fun battle, called the Readers' Celebration Round, in our Readers' Celebration. Each of the regular round battles will be made up of 9 questions plus one bonus question that is free response. The Readers Celebration round will be made up of all bonus-type questions (free response).

Readers' Celebration Round

The two teams who have the highest cumulative scores will be recognized at the Readers' Celebration and face each other in the Readers' Celebration Round. The battle flow and timing will be the same as in the regular rounds, but the questions will ALL be free response (like the bonus questions in the regular battles). 

Scoring will be the same as in the regular rounds, five points for a correct answer and one point for a correct rebound answer.  Both teams that participate in the Readers' Celebration Round will be applauded. 

How to Answer a Question Correctly

Except for the bonus questions and Readers Celebration round, the answer for all questions will be the title, author, and, if applicable, illustrator of the book. 

In order for an answer to be correct, here are guidelines:

At the beginning of every battle, one spokesperson is nominated for each team. Team members should confer before the team responds. Once the spokesperson begins to respond with an answer, it is that answer that will be accepted as the response. Only the team that is answering the question may confer with each other.  The opposing team must remain silent until it is their turn to receive the question.  Hand gestures or signals of any kind may not be used by anyone whether in play or observing.

Contesting an Answer

If a team feels that its answer is correct (but it was deemed incorrect), they must voice this to the moderator immediately AFTER the opposing team has its chance for a rebound. The moderator will write down the original answer given by the team, and it will be submitted for review by our experts in the Readers Room. If they determine that the answer was a correct answer, the points for the teams will be changed to reflect this.

From Where Questions May Be Taken

See the Prepping to get a better idea of how questions will be formulated for the battles.

Who can be in a Battle Room

Parents and others are invited to attend the Parade of Readers and Celebration on the last day of competition. The Readers Celebration Round will take place during this time.


Teams are expected to:

Please do not write down competition questions & answers. We go to great lengths to create high-quality questions and would like them to remain ours.


Show your school pride with Battle of the Books t-shirts, banners, and mascots (especially for the Parade of Readers and Celebration the last day).  T-shirts should demonstrate pride for your school and not feature any book title, author/illustrator, or words that could be construed as a possible answer to a question. Teams will be asked to turn their t-shirts inside out if the shirts feature any of the above.