There exists a vast array of quizbowl resources on the internet, and whilst most of these are made to cater to Americans, they are still very useful for the British audience. Getting better at quizbowl tournaments requires a mix of practice and effort. Alongside playing actual games, some of these resources are helpful ways to get used to what comes up in quizbowl questions and to get better at the game.
Introduction to quizbowl
UKQB have prepared a quick and friendly explainer of the rules of quizbowl, which you will find valuable if you are just starting out: find it here.
We have a Discord server for casual chat and University Challenge discussion as well as online practice, both spontaneous and organised by UKQB.
Student quiz societies
Lots of UK quiz societies already have websites or Facebook pages. Be wary that some of them might be irregularly maintained, so do get in touch with your university’s society: usually, Facebook or student union pages are most useful. Here’s a few of the most active ones: Cambridge, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Imperial, LSE, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Queen’s, Belfast, Southampton, Warwick.
Packet Archive: This is one of the key resources — a website with thousands of quizbowl packets of all kinds stretching back years. It’s important to keep tabs on their difficulty — it contains things all the way from American middle-school questions (fairly quick and easy) up to extremely difficult open tournaments with horrendously obscure answerlines, as well as a number of specialist subject packets. Navigating all of these links without prior knowledge is a bit daunting, but if you would like some suggestions for tournaments to start out with, try these: 2017 Early Fall Tournament, 2017 ACF Fall, 2018 PACE.
One can also download ‘trash’ – pop culture – packets, which tend to be of wildly varying quality, but are often good fun. Most of these are American but you might want to have a look at Lowbrow Oxford Open 2015.
QuizDB: This is essentially a database of loads of individual quizbowl questions, categorised by tournament, difficulty, category and subcategory. For instance, say you want to read some easy ‘college-level’ questions about sculpture, or some challenging questions about chemistry — just click the relevant sections of the drop-down menus and you can read through to your heart’s content.
This site is also useful when writing questions, either to check what difficulty levels an answer has been asked at, or to find clues for tossups (doing this excessively is somewhat frowned upon, however).
NAQT You Gotta Know: NAQT is an American company which produces a lot of quizbowl questions. One of the best features on their website are these short guides which go through and explain lists of topics which come up frequently in quizbowl tournaments.
Protobowl: Protobowl is the main site for playing multiplayer quizbowl online. There are a variety of rooms, ranging from middle-school questions up to specialist public rooms, in which one can play against quizzers worldwide in real time; alternatively, one can easily set up a private room, either in order to hone your skills individually or to play with, say, other members from your society.
HSQuizbowl Forums: This is the main internet forum for quizbowl. It’s a little bizarre, and dominated by Americans, but there’s nevertheless a lot of useful stuff on there. For instance, the ‘best of the best’ forum section includes guides on improving as a player, on writing better-quality questions, and all kinds of advice that you never realised you needed… it is, however, extremely liable to devolve into inscrutable in-jokes.
HSQuizbowl Stats: After almost all tournaments, the stats from the day will be posted on this site. The main results page will give the main leaderboard of the teams, though in other sections one can view an individual player’s performance or broken-down details for a whole team. Some of the numbers can be a bit difficult to get one’s head around – the key individual one is usually said to be PPG, or ‘(average) points per game’, counting only tossups. As a team, the ‘PPB’, or ‘(average) points per bonus’, is often the most highly regarded. Of course, worrying about this kind of thing is really nowhere near necessary.
HDWhite: This is a tool which allows you to search through the database of stats to find results for particular names of teams.