Check-in Procedures

  1. A team consists of five students. Each student must turn in a signed participation form and photo release form to compete.

  2. Each team must have at least three students checked-in at the Battle location by 15 minutes prior to the event start. If at least three students are not present at this time, the team will be disqualified. After this time, no other team members will be allowed to participate.

  3. Each team must have an adult coach present at the Battle. In case of an emergency which prevents a coach from being present, another adult must take the coach's place or the team will be disqualified.

  4. Coaches or their designees check in and receive their information packets and certificates starting at 12 p.m. on May 2. Coaches then proceed to the designated staging area to await the arrival of their students.

  5. A packet of pencils, answer sheets, and other supplies will be available on their chair at the grid.

  6. If accompanying their coach, students will be allowed to check in early. Otherwise, student check-in begins at 1 p.m.

  7. Once students have checked in, they will be accompanied to the designated staging area for team pictures and to line up for the procession into the Battle venue.

  8. No cell phones, electronic devices, or other reading materials will be allowed on the floor by coaches or students.


How the Battle is Played

  1. Team members sit together on a mat in a grid on the floor. A chair will be provided for each coach. No blankets, pillows, or sit-upons will be permitted on the floor. For safety reasons, no items may extend beyond team grid spaces. Items in the aisles will be removed. Team signs must be placed under the mats during the Battle.

  2. While coaches march in with their teams, they do not sit with their team during the Battle. Coaches accompany their teams to their team’s assigned grid, then will be instructed by the emcee during welcoming remarks when to move to sit with another team that they are expected to moderate and encourage during the Battle.

  3. The moderator asks questions about the books. The moderator will read the question number, which the scribe should record on their answer sheet. The moderator reads each question only two times.

  4. The Battle includes at least one question about each book.

  5. Four different types of questions may be asked (see p. 11 of Coach Handbook).

  6. Teams have 30 seconds to quietly discuss and record their answers. The scribe circles the number of the correct title and the letter of the correct author on an answer sheet.

  7. When the 30 seconds are up, time is called, all pencils must be put down, and the answer sheets must be held up by the scribe to be collected by a volunteer. Even if the team did not record an answer, the blank answer sheet will still be collected.

  8. After the answer sheets are collected and delivered to the scorekeeper's table, the moderator announces the correct title and author to the audience.

  9. A coach must make any allegations of cheating to a staff member before the start of the next round. The matter will be taken to the head judge for a ruling.


Answering and Scoring

  1. All scores are based on answer sheets only. Answer sheets will feature numbers associated with book titles and letters associated with authors that students are to circle. Teams will be given a reference sheet listing titles and authors with their information packet at the start of the Battle. The student chosen as scribe will circle the number of the correct book title and letter for the correct author for each question to score points.

  2. Each question is worth two points. Each round will contain one bonus Battle question worth double points (four total).

  3. Each team has the potential to earn one point for the correct title AND one point for the correct author. However, BOTH title AND author must be correct to earn the points. No points are awarded if either the title or author is incorrect. In other words, the only way to receive two points is to circle the correct title AND the correct author on the answer sheet.

  4. The correct title will be counted as one point if no author is circled. Points will not be awarded if the title is blank and the correct author is circled. Therefore, if a team is sure of a title, but does not know the author, it is to the team's advantage to circle the title and not circle any author.

  5. Please refer to the 2020 Battle of the Books book list for the list of titles and authors. All competition questions will come from the specific editions given to teams by Battle staff. All parts of these books will be considered fair game.

  6. The Battle of the Books head judge is the final authority on correct or incorrect answers.

  7. The team with the most points at the end of the final round will be the winner. In the event of a tie, those teams will participate in a "tiebreaker" round.

    1. First- to third-place tied teams will be invited to come to the front of the grid and answer five questions, each with a 15-second time limit.

    2. After scores for those questions are tallied, the moderator will announce the first place and second place winners. However, if teams are still tied, the Battle goes into sudden death.

      1. Sudden death consists of an additional set of five questions, each with a 15-second time limit.

      2. After each question is read, the teams submit their answer and the moderator will announce whether teams are still tied or if one is the winner.

      3. Based on the Standard Competition Ranking, if teams are still tied after the fifth sudden death question, those teams will be awarded first place. The next highest scoring team will be awarded third place (i.e., two first place teams and one third place team). If three or more teams are tied for first place, there will be no further ranking.

  8. Overall winners and category winners will be posted on the Chautauqua Institution website following the Battle.

  9. Scores will not be posted. Coaches will receive their team score approximately seven (7) business days after the event. All scores are final.



  • Each member of the top-scoring team (first place) will receive a complete set of the 2020 CLSC Young Readers book selections approximately two weeks after the event.

  • Members of the three top-scoring teams will receive medals, which will be awarded at the close of the event.

  • The schools of the three top-scoring teams receive trophies, to be delivered to the school approximately two weeks after the event.

  • Certificates will be awarded at the event to teams for Best Costume, Best Team Name, Best Team Spirit, and Best Sportsmanship.

  • All students receive a Certificate of Participation.