When compared to the 2017 edition of the Rules & Guidelines, here are all of the changes as noted in bold italics:
Yes, until now the rules did not say that the coach and inactive (bench) quizzers can sit to the sides of the Quizmaster’s table. We all did that, anyway. But now it is official. In Section Five: The Quiz, rule 5.2 now says, “Coaches and inactive quizzers may be seated behind the active quizzers, behind the officials, or to the left and right (respectively) of the officials, depending on district or tournament rules and/or space.”
2. Clarified that unique words are not necessary when answering an According To question.
Finally! I have long argued that correct answers to According To questions must simply convey the meaning of the material in the given verse. But some officials have held According To answers to a higher standard, requiring the quizzer to use the key words in the verses as well. To clarify, Section Seven: Answering, rule 7.31 now says in regard to According To questions that “the question/answer combination must convey the meaning of the material in the given verse; however the answer need not be verbatim, including unique words.”
3. Captains who error-out on a question can still challenge or appeal that question.
What? Could they not already do that? The previous rule stated “only a quizzer currently serving as Captain may challenge the Quizmaster’s ruling on a toss-up question.” The only exception noted was in the event a Captain quizzed-out and their correct answer was challenged. So if a Captain errors-out, then technically they are out of the game and the Co-Captain would need to issue the challenge. This rule (Section Nine: Challenges, Rebuttals and Appeals, rule 9.2.1) has now been re-worded for clarity: “A captain, having quizzed or errored out on a given question, shall still be considered the captain for purposes of challenging or appealing that question, or offering a rebuttal to a challenge by an opposing captain. The captain shall cede this role when the next question is preannounced.”
4. Quizmaster’s will only provide the question/answer on the paper once per a challenge event.
Prior to deciding whether or not to challenge, rebut, or appeal a question, the captain may ask the Quizmaster for the question and answer on the page. Now, however, rule 9.3 adds, “...the Quizmaster may only provide this information once per question/answer in issue.” The key here is that the Captains need to pay attention since they will only hear this one time! Also, note that if the Captain issuing the challenge does not ask for the question/answer combination on the paper, then the Captain delivering the rebuttal may ask for it.
5. Single- and multiple-book season prejumping foul distinctions.
In the 2017 rule book, a quizzer was assessed a foul if they jumped on these words during the Quizmaster’s preamble of a question: Quote, Finish, According To, Situation Question, In What Book and Chapter. As a Quizmaster, I would give grace to the students during single-book seasons if they jumped on “According To Matthew”, for example. In my opinion not enough of the question had been read to make it unique. But technically, if the quizzer jumped on “Matthew”, they should have been required to attempt the question. The 2020 version of this rule now takes into account what words can be said before requiring a quizzer to answer the question. In Section Ten: Fouls, rule 10.19 says that the Quizmaster shall assess a foul to a quizzer and re-do the question when a jump occurs while saying these phrases:
- “In what book and chapter is the following”
- “Situation question”
- “According to” (during multiple-book seasons)
- “According to [the book’s name], chapter” (during single-book seasons)
- “Quote” (during multiple-book seasons)
- “Quote [the book’s name], chapter” (during single-book seasons)
After looking over these changes, I realize I have been using common sense or my own interpretation of these rules for quite some time. Overall, I feel that these are excellent clarifications and provide much-needed specificity to the game. Well done!