There are ten official competition events at the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships. Three of these are team events. Three of the individual events combine to determine the official overall International Geography Bee World Championship title. The other events count towards the medal table we will maintain. The Historical Geography Bee is a joint event with the International History Olympiad; medals won in that event will count towards both the IGB and Olympiad medals tables (even if a student isn’t otherwise participating in both the IGB World Championship and the Olympiad).
Events counting towards the IGB World Championship Title
The IGB World Championship Title is decided on the “rank points” system. Each student is ranked in each competition in the order of their finish. Students receive the number of rank points that corresponds to their rank, though for ties, if two students tie for second, for example, they would each receive 2.5 rank points for finishing tied for both second and effectively being tied for third place as well. The student with the fewest rank points is the overall champion; in the event of ties for the top spots, the students would play a tiebreaker consisting of all three event styles, with the rank points system holding for that as well.
1. International Geography Exam
The International Geography Exam is a 400 question multiple-choice exam with questions on all aspects of world geography. As with the Qualifying Exams, students receive two points for a correct answer, zero points for an answer left blank, and lose a point for an incorrect answer. The Exam is analogous to the Battery Exam at the International History Olympiad, though the geographic distribution of questions, which will be forthcoming, will be somewhat different, with comparatively more questions on regions of the world outside North America and Europe compared to the Olympiad Battery Exam.
2. International Geography Showdown
The International Geography Showdown is a buzzer-based quiz tournament with standard “pyramidal-style” paragraph-length questions. However, in contrast with the International Geography Quiz, in all cases in the showdown, only two students will compete at once, in a head-to-head format! The exact format of the showdown will in some ways be dependent on the number of competing students in each age division, though for all students it will involve a series of at least five preliminary rounds with 12 questions (and tiebreakers if necessary) and then a playoff format (most likely double elimination). The draw for the Showdown will be based off of the International Geography Exam results. The finals of the Showdown will be played outdoors in a historic location during the Mitte Walking Tour.
3. International Geography Quiz
The International Geography Quiz is also a buzzer-based tournament, though the format here will be much more familiar to most students, as this event is very similar to the Geography Bee format used at the Asian, Canadian, European, and US championships. There will be five rounds of preliminary competition followed by playoffs for the top students. The question distribution both here and for the Showdown will be comparable to the distribution used for the International Geography Exam taking into account rounding necessary for the number of questions in each round.
Other individual events
4. Geography Crisis Simulation
The Geography Crisis Simulation is considerably different from most other events in that it is less a direct of geography knowledge, and more of an event where participants will need to apply their knowledge in a simulation of a real-world problem with a geography focus. Students will role play as a character with a defined position (e.g. Mayor, Environment Minister, Agribusiness CEO, UN Secretary General, etc.). These roles will be assigned in advance of IGB Worlds, giving participants time to research and become more familiar with the topic. During the simulation, IGB staff will then provide new information continually based on the decisions made by participants. This dynamic environment will call for critical thinking and problem solving skills, along with the ability to persuade and work with other participants. For students who have competed in Model UN conferences or in the Historical Simulation at the International History Olympiad, this will be somewhat more familiar. However, the topic, rules, and guidelines of the simulation will be made clear in advance, so that students new to a competition along these lines will be able to compete and participate effectively as well.
5. Geography Scramble
The Scramble is a buzzer-based tournament with a very specific topic. The topic will only be announced approximately one week before the International Geography Bee World Championships begins. As such, the focus is much more on ability to study an in-depth topic quickly as opposed to having a vast storehouse of geographic knowledge as is the case for the other buzzer-based competitions. The preliminary rounds of the Scramble will be played during the Prenzlauer Berg Walking Tour (weather permitting in the Mauerpark in what used to be the Berlin Wall!). The final round will be played during the Mitte Walking Tour in a likewise historic and memorable outdoor location.
6. Historical Geography Bee
The Historical Geography Bee is a unique joint event between the International Geography Bee World Championships and the International History Olympiad. The event is a buzzer-based tournament following standard Bee rules. Further details and sample questions from when this event was held in the past at the Olympiad can be found on the Olympiad website here.
7. Geography Knockout
The Geography Knockout competition will use the same rules as the History Knockout competition for the International History Olympiad (though obviously with geography questions instead). The rules for Knockout are explained on the Knockout page on the Olympiad website here.
Teams will be determined through the Classification Exam (a brief [25 question] multiple-choice world geography exam, scored just like the official International Geography Exam), that students will take the evening before the competition begins after they have arrived at the youth hostel. Where possible, students will be paired together with students in their age division from their same country or state, however, some degree of mixed teams will be inevitable. Classification Exams will be used to seed mixed teams as evenly as possible though countries and states with 6 or more students in an age division will still field their strongest possible team on the basis of Classification Exam results. Students will receive their Classification Exam scores, but the Classification Exam does not count as an official competition, nr are awards given for top scores on it. All teams will consist of three or four students (this is different from the International History Olympiad where all teams consist of 2 or 3 students).
8. Treasure Hunt
The Treasure Hunt will take place on the afternoon of the first day. Students will have a chance to explore Berlin (supervised by IGB staff, of course) and make their way through the city to stop off at checkpoints. Participants will need to be able to be familiar with the geography of Berlin, decide on the best route to take, make decisions in real time that are likely to lead to the highest score, and be able to gauge the skills of their teammates. This event will be part Amazing Race, part city safari, part travel planning and a whole lot of fun as participants get to know their teammates and our fascinating host city!
This new event will sort-of recreate the American classic game show Family Feud. But instead of asking participants “we asked 100 people to name something phound in their kitchen that starts with the letter “S”, the top six answers are on the board, now you need to name them.” (or something zany like that), participants will need to name, say, the top phive countries by population in Sub-Saharan Africa. Or the top phour worldwide producers of rice. Or the six largest states by area of India. Get the pheel of it? It will certainly be a phantastic way to cap the phirst phull day of competitions!
10. Team Quiz
The Team Quiz will be an analogue of sorts to the Hextathlon competition at the International History Olympiad. Participants will collaborate with their teammates to answer various questions in themed rounds, some of which will have audio and visual components. This will take place on July 14, the night before the International History Olympiad begins. Competitors taking part in the Olympiad will then meet with the other Olympiad participants at the Berlin Brandenburg International School for the Olympiad Opening Ceremonies the following morning.