Oregon Battle of the Books at Springville

All things OBOB for Springville K-8

Battle Rules & Procedures

These procedures have been modified for local battles from the OBOB Official Handbook. For Regional and State Tournament rules, visit the OBOB Website and navigate to Resources > Documents > OBOB Handbook.

  • Electronic devices must be off and away during all battles. Photos may only be taken before and after a battle. No videotaping of battles.  Phones may be used for timing by the battle timekeeper.
  • There will be 16 questions, 8 “In Which Book” and 8 “Content”.
  • Teams are made up of up to four members with one optional alternate, for a total of five members. All competing members must be physically present for a battle. Teams may battle with less than four players.
  • Alternate members who are not playing will sit in a designated audience area during battles.
  • Of the four competing members, one will serve as the spokesperson throughout each battle.  The role of spokesperson may be changed or rotated between battles, but not during a battle.
  • Two teams will compete during a single battle. A round of Rock, Paper, Scissors will be held before the start of each battle. The winning team will decide whether they will have the first opportunity to answer the odd questions including the first question, or the first opportunity to answer the even questions including the last question.
  • The team that sits on the left of the Moderator will 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-numbered questions. The “odd” team (on the Moderator’s left) will go first and be read question number one.
  • The Moderator will review the rules with the participating teams as needed and find out who is serving as the spokesperson for each team.  Answers will be accepted only from that spokesperson; no other team member’s answer shall be heard or recorded during that battle.
  • The Moderator will ask a question, prefacing the question with the name of the team it is directed to. Timing starts immediately after the question has been read for the first time. Teams will have 15 seconds to quietly discuss the question among themselves. Only the first answer the spokesperson gives will be accepted; the team cannot use up the time left to guess other answers. Moderator will not ask for more information or details. Acceptance (or not) must be based on what the spokesperson responds, without prompting. Note: the opposing team may discuss the question during the 15 seconds or until the other team’s spokesperson starts talking but they must be very quiet so as not to disturb the other team.
  • Discussion must stop as soon as time is called, and the question must be answered immediately. If the spokesperson does not immediately begin to answer, or if discussion continues, the Moderator turns to the other team and reads the question in its entirety to them.  That team then has 15 seconds discussion time. When time is called, the spokesperson will be given a chance to answer without hesitation.
  • During a battle, a team’s spokesperson may request a repeat of a question. All repeats must take place within the 15-second time limit, which starts after the question is read for the first time. Having the question repeated does not restart the time. If the moderator stumbles while reading a question he/she should stop and start over without penalty to the team.
  • “In Which Book” questions will be read first and are worth a total of 5 points.  In the case of a partially correct response, the first correct response (whether it be author or title) will be worth 3 points, and the second correct response will be worth 2 points.  Book titles and authors must be stated as listed on the official OBOB book lists. Omission of the articles a, an, and the at the beginning of a title will be accepted as correct.
  • For “Content” questions, 5 points are given for the complete answer.   Designated two-part questions will be scored with 3 points for the first correct answer given and 2 points for the second correct answer given. No partial scores will be given unless the question is designated “Two-part.” A question asking for a full name is not considered to be a two-part question.
  • If a team gives an incorrect answer, the question is repeated in its entirety to the other team with another 15 seconds to discuss.  In the case of an “In Which Book” or two-part “Content” question, if part of an answer given by the first team is correct, the portion they have correct will be revealed by the moderator prior to the question being passed to the other team to attempt to pick up the other two points.  Note:  If the acquiring team does not answer correctly, play does NOT pass back to the other team. In the event that neither team answers correctly, the moderator will provide the correct answer.
  • Regardless of who scored on the previous 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 an acquiring team may get to answer two questions in a row: the one it acquired, followed by their own.
  • If a question is being read and the spokesperson interrupts the reader, that team’s spokesperson must answer the question immediately.
  • If the moderator makes a mistake while reading a question such as giving the answer, the question shall be thrown out and another question substituted in its place. The substitute question shall be numbered with the number of the original question. If the moderator’s error is made while presenting to an acquiring team the substituted question will be presented to the team that first received the question (i.e. an acquiring team cannot answer a question that the first team did not have an opportunity to answer).
  • An answer is considered correct even if mispronounced, as long as the Moderator can discern that’s the way those letters could possibly be pronounced.
  • Multiple questions may appear on certain titles and some titles may not be asked about at all.
  • Neither teams nor audience members may use a title/author list or notes of any kind.
  • At the end of a battle, the Moderator announces and allows 15 seconds for challenges to be articulated through the team’s spokesperson only. While challenges are not encouraged, the opportunity is provided.  The teams are each limited to one challenge per round.  If there are no challenges, the final score will be announced, and a winner will be declared. The battle will be considered complete, and no further challenges will be entertained.  The moderator will follow the procedures and rules for challenges provided in the Official OBOB Handbook (see “Protocol for Challenges”).