Prospective Orca Bowl Coaches and Teams


How to Form a Team

Orca Bowl teams traditionally consist of teams of four to five high school students (four competitors and one alternate) and an adult coach. Please review NOSB’s eligibility rules below to ensure that your team qualifies to compete.

How to Register for the Competition

Please reach out to us at if you are interested in fielding a team. Registration materials become available in mid-Fall and must then be completed by coaches and team members and submitted by the stated deadline, typically in  December.

A teams will be accommodated based on space available. B teams will fill any remaining slots, and will be selected per the policies stated in that year’s registration materials (often by random drawing). Depending on the year, 15-20 total A and B teams can compete.

The competition includes continental breakfast, and lunch. Teams who are traveling from more than 50 miles away may request lodging.


NOSB Eligibility Rules

Each competing team consists of a coach (see the NOSB’s Official Rules for more specific details about forming a team), at least four student members, and in addition may include one student alternate (a team of three is not eligible to compete).

  1. To be eligible to compete, a student must be enrolled for the current school year in grades nine, ten, eleven, or twelve at the team’s school or be participating through a student support organization (private, parochial, and home schools are eligible).
  2. Schools considering establishing a NOSB team should select the regional bowl closest to their home site. If the school location is equidistant between two regional bowl locations, the school may select the preferred bowl location or the bowl location that has availability for new teams.

For the full listing of eligibility requirements, see the NOSB’s Eligibility Rules section of the competition rules.

Team Preparation

Like any sport or academic competition, preparing for Orca Bowl takes effort, cooperation, and enthusiasm! Teams use different resources and strategies to study and prepare; the following pointers may help:

Cast a wide net when looking for resources.

Ocean-related textbooks, periodicals, and websites can be mined for background information related to the topics of study. NOSB also provides sample questions, a general list of recommended study resources, and study information about the annual theme of the competition. Many teams use these resources to compose their own questions to practice with, and over time are able to build their own database of questions that helps them to prepare each year. We also recommend using relevant local organizations and inviting scientists to present their research, or incorporating field trips and hands-on activities to enrich the studying.

Practice, practice, practice!

Set up a regular study schedule with your team, and be strategic in how you tackle different subject areas to ensure that you are well prepared in all the areas of study covered at the competition.

Know the competition rules.

Make sure you understand how the game is played, and how best to incorporate strategy into the way you play the game. We have a limited number of buzzer systems available on loan for teams to practice. Please contact to request a kit.

See the following documents for more detailed information about how to prepare your team: