Welcome to the USA Division of The International Geography Bee!
Within the USA, the International Geography Bee is a geography quiz competition, focusing on pure geographic knowledge. Students in the USA interested in competing in a separate competition with a focus more on applied geographic knowledge can participate in the US Geography Olympiad as well.
As is also the case with the US Geography Olympiad, within the USA, students who are in grade 8 or younger may compete both in the Junior Varsity Division of the International Geography Bee, and they may also compete in the Middle School Division if they are in 7th or 8th grade, and the Elementary Division if they are in 6th grade or lower. Note: Beginning with the 2018 US National Championships, the Middle School Division will be split into 7th and 8th grade classifications. The Elementary National Championships will be split into 6th, 5th, and 4th grade and younger classifications. Students will only compete against other students in their classification, and separate National Champions will be named in each classification.
The USA Division of the IGB consists of the National Qualifying Exam and the National Championships. Within the USA Division, the same age divisions and classifications and the same definitions for these apply as they do for the US Geography Olympiad. At the IGB World Championships, age is determined solely by birthdate – students from the USA may only compete in one age division there.
In 2018, the Varsity Division and Junior Varsity Division National Championships for the IGB will be held directly after the National Championships of the US Geography Olympiad on Friday, April 27 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. This is held in conjunction with the Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships of the National History Bee and Bowl and the US History Bee. Varsity and JV Nationals will consist of 3 preliminary rounds of 35 paragraph-length buzzer quiz questions, and two rounds of playoffs for the top students from the preliminaries. Questions used at the IGB National Championships in 2017 can be found on the Resources Page and you can see sample questions here from past years’ US Geography Olympiad Quiz Bowl Tournament.
The 2018 Middle School Division and Elementary Division National Championships in the USA for the IGB will be held in conjunction with the Middle School and Elementary National Championships of the US Academic Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl, and the US Geography Olympiad. The date and location for all of these events is yet to be determined, but it will take place in Spring 2018.
US students qualify for the National Championships of IGB in the exact same way they qualify for the National Championships of the US Geography Olympiad – if you qualify for the one, by definition, you qualify for the other. US students qualify for the World Championships of IGB by finishing in the top half of their age division at Nationals, or by scoring 75 or better on a version of the National Qualifying Exam. Qualification is then valid for two years (thus one can qualify for the 2018 IGB World Championships at either the 2017 or 2018 IGB US National Championships).