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Battle of the Books 2020: The Battle


The Battle will take place at Wauconda High School the evening of Thursday, February 20. 

6:00 - Sign in
6:15 - Welcome and Rules

6:30 - Battle 1 begins 

7:00 - Battle 2 begins 

7:30 - Final Battle Begins

8:00 - Closing Ceremony and Awards

8:30 - Event Ends


  • All participants will receive a certificate for their efforts.
  • Each member of the first and second place teams will receive medals.
  • Each member of the first place team will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.
  • The first place team's school will receive a traveling trophy.

Battle Rules

Here are the rules for The Battle. Read carefully and talk to your librarian if you have questions. Please note updates in yellow; these updates were made because we moved from a 14-team bracket structure to an 8-team structure due to some teams being unable to compete in the Battle.

General Rules

  • Each team may have between 2-5 players.
  • A 6th player may serve as an alternate on a team. That means s/he can sub in for another player for the duration of a Battle, but this must be determined before a Battle begins. Once the round has begun, s/he is committed to participating in that Battle. The original team member may NOT return to play during that Battle, but s/he may return to play in a subsequent Battle
  • Each team will participate in at least 2 Battles. See bracket below.
  • Only the top 2 teams in the Winners Bracket will compete in the third and final Battle
  • Teams will be seeded on the bracket based on the number of questions they submitted throughout the challenge. The more questions they submitted, the higher the seed.
  • Teams that win Battle 1 will continue competing as part of the Winners Bracket for a chance to win 1st-4th place
  • Teams that lose during Battle 1 will enter the Consolation Bracket for a chance to win 5th-8th place
  • 3rd-4th place in the Winners Bracket and 5th-8th place in the Consolation Bracket will be determined by points earned during Battle 2.

Battles 1 and 2 Rules

  • Each room will be managed by 2 volunteers: a reader / judge and a timer / scorekeeper. 
  • Each Battle will begin with time to practice using the buzzer system and for introductions. Each member of a team will have his/her own buzzer.
  • During each round, teams will be asked 25 questions written primarily by participants.
  • The team that buzzes first will have the first opportunity to answer the question. 
  • Teams may buzz in before the reader has finished reading the question. 
  • Teams must wait to be recognized by the reader before responding to any question. Any member of the team may answer regardless of who buzzed in.
  • Teams that respond with the correct book title will earn 4 points. Teams need only state the book's primary title and not the subtitle. So, for example, Born a Crime is an acceptable response even though the book's full title is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
  • That team also will be invited by the reader to earn 1 bonus point by stating the last name of the author, pronounced correctly. For the two graphic novels, Ms. Marvel and Paper Girls, teams also may state the last name of the illustrator, pronounced correctly, for 1 bonus point.
  • That means teams can earn up to 5 (or 6, in the case of the graphic novels) points per question.
  • After the question is read, teams will have 10 seconds to buzz in. After 10 seconds have expired, both teams will have forfeited their opportunity to respond. No points will be awarded.
  • The team that buzzes in first will have 3 seconds to answer the question. If the team answers incorrectly or fails to respond in time, one of two situations might ensue:
    • If the question was NOT read in full the first time, the reader will restate the question. The opposing team will have 10 seconds to buzz in and then 3 seconds to respond. OR
    • If the question WAS read in full the first time, the reader will NOT restate the question. Instead, the reader will offer the opposing team a chance to respond within 10 seconds. 
  • At the end of the Battle, the team that has earned the most points will be named the winner of the Battle and will advance in the bracket. 
  • In the case of a tie, the team that submitted the most questions throughout the reading challenge will be named the winner of the Battle.
  • Teams may not refer to a list of the book titles or use their phones during the Battles.

Final Battle Rules

  • Only the top 2 teams will participate in the final Battle.
  • The Battle will be managed by a reader / judge, a timer, and a scorekeeper.
  • The Battle will begin with time to practice using the buzzer system and for introductions.  
  • Teams will be asked 40 questions written by NLCC librarians and support staff. 
  • Teams will follow the same rules as Battles 1 and 2.
  • At the end of the Battle, the team that has earned the most points will be named the winner of The NLCC Battle of the Books.
  • In the case of a tie for first place, the teams in the tie-breaker situation will respond to 5 questions written by librarians following the same format described above. The team with the highest number of points after the tie-breaker round will be named the winner of The NLCC Battle of the Books.