Honda Campus All-Star Challenge
is a quizbowl
tournament administered by College Bowl
for Historically Black colleges and universities
. The sponsor of the program is Honda Motor Company
The program started in 1989 when Honda proposed a program to the College Bowl Company for Black colleges (HBCUs). To that end, College Bowl created a separate program in which all 4-year degree granting HBCUs are eligible to enroll teams. From 1990 to 1995, the gameplay format consisted of sectional matches that led up to televised National Championship games on BET (all of them hosted by Clint Holmes). The current format was adopted in 1996, which abandoned the sectional games and the televising of games in favor of an all-encompassing 64-team National Championship Tournament held each year in March or April.
Gameplay takes place during two eight minute halves. Questions are split into toss-ups and bonus questions. The toss-up questions are always ten points in value, while bonuses have varying point values, no more than thirty possible points. The toss-up questions do not permit conferring with other team members, with buzzers
(using a lockout system) being used to designate who rings in to answer a question. The signaling player must be designated by the announcer, or the question is thrown out. The players may interrupt the moderator, but if an incorrect answer is given, the team is given a five point deduction, and the question is completed for the other team (who may chose to interrupt it without a penalty). If the moderator has finished the question and a team member incorrectly answers it, the team is not given a penalty. If the player is correct, then the team has an opportunity for a bonus question, on which players a team may confer. If team members have conflicting answers, then the captain will speak on behalf of the team.
- A moderator, who reads questions
- An announcer, who designates players and resets the lockout (buzzers) system as appropriate,
- A scorekeeper
- A timekeeper (1990-2002); new equipment made this position obsolete
- A judge, who determines if given answers are correct, enforces procedural rules, and is in charge of the match
- Two teams, each of up to four players and an alternate, and each team having one player designated captain
- Coach for each team
- A team liaison, who handles logistical issues between the teams and tournament headquarters
Playing the game
As part of a qualification process, each college/university must host a campus tournament to determine which players will represent the school's team. Afterwards, another set of documentation is processed by the school's team and coach. If the school wishes to, it may attend or host a Pre-NCT tournament. These tournaments do not affect how the schools will qualify for the NCT.
After all of the pre-NCT tournaments are over, the final contest is the NCT. Sixty-four schools attend the NCT, and they are randomly placed into eight divisions. The divisions are named after famous Blacks
, with two of the eight divisions renamed each year on recommendation from the HCASC Advisory Committee. Two days of the NCT consist of divisional play. The two teams from each division with the best win/loss record move onto the second round, which takes place on the same day that division play ends. From there, eight schools will advance to quarterfinals and then four schools will advance to the semifinals. The third day of play resumes with the semifinal games and the final game. The "sweet sixteen," "elite eight," quarterfinal, and semifinal matches are single elimination
, with the final two teams playing a best two-of-three series of final matches on Sunday. Clint Holmes, who hosted the BET
broadcasts, moderates the semifinal and final matches on Sunday.
The tournament begins with an opening banquet, and concludes with a closing banquet/awards ceremony. Both banquets include speakers and entertainers. Since 2004, the opening banquet has also introduced new members into the HCASC Hall of Fame.
- An episode of A Different World, entitled "Goodwill Games" revolves around the premise of Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert competing in Hillman College's Campus All-Star Challenge tournament.
For their efforts, the representative schools are awarded grants
- The NCT Champion school is awarded $50,000
- Runner-Up takes $25,000
- Semifinalists take $15,000
- Quarterfinalists take $7,500
- Teams who make the first round of the playoffs take $5,000
- NCT qualifiers take $3,000
- An additional $1,000 grant is awarded to the schools of All-Star players, so designated as being the top individual scorers in each of the 8 divisions.
- The recipient of the Sportsperson Award earns their school an additional $1,000 grant
HCASC NCT winners