Twelve is a knowledge-based academic competition that challenges teams of students to answer questions covering a variety of subject areas. The competition is based primarily on the core curriculum. Twelve is an original competition developed by the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities (NCASA).

Twelve teams of twelve students each will tackle twelve topics with twelve questions each. Will your school be one of twelve to compete for the state championship of Twelve?


Twelve is a component of the NCASA Scholastic Cup. As an NCASA-hosted event, only NCASA Member Schools may participate in Twelve and earn Scholastic Cup Points.


Each Twelve team is comprised of a group of students from a single school. Each school may send one team to the competition. Twelve students from each team will compete in twelve of the following topics:

High School Wildcard Topics (two in each competition)

  • Computers & Information Technology - primarily current technology but includes history of IT
  • Current Events - NC, national, and world current events from last night to last three months
  • Geography - NC, national, and world geography
  • North Carolina - history, geography, sports, current events, people, government, etc.
  • Word Problems - mathematical or statistical, will not include calculus or trigonometry
  • Sports - NC, national, and world sport including teams, personalities, and history
  • Television & Movies - from the birth of the media through today
  • Social Sciences - includes psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology

High School Primary Topics (all ten in each competition)

  • Algebra & Geometry
  • Calculus & Trigonometry
  • Civics & Economics
  • Fine Arts
  • Grammar & Composition
  • Life Science
  • Literature
  • Physical Science
  • US History
  • World History

Middle School Wildcard Topics (two in each competition)

  • NC Geography
  • NC Native Americans
  • NC State Government
  • NC State Symbols
  • NC History
  • NC Sports
  • NC Current Events
  • NC Colleges and Universities

Middle School Primary Topics (all ten in each competition)

  • Physical Science - mostly advanced MS physical science questions with a few high school level questions added
  • Life Science - mostly advanced MS life science questions with a few high school level questions added
  • Mathematics - Math 7+, Common Core 1, Word Problems, plus a few more advanced questions
  • Writing - Grammar plus literary terms and devices
  • Literature - Popular young adult fiction
  • US History - includes historic documents and speeches
  • World History
  • Technology - PC's, internet, handheld devices, social media, etc.
  • Physical Education / Sports - Includes health and sports rules but does not include sports teams and personalities
  • Arts and Media - Popular culture including music, moves, television, etc.

Grouping Challenge

At the Kick-Off, the grouping of the ten primary topics and two wildcard topics is announced. Each team has twelve minutes to assign three team members to each group before the first round begins. An example of a high school kick-off topic grouping is shown below:

Group A
1. Visual Arts 
5. Life Sciences 
9. Algebra & Geometry
Group B
2. Literature 
6. Grammar & Comp. 
10. Geography
Group C
3. World History 
7. Fine Arts 
11. U.S. History
Group D
4. Calculus & Trig. 
8. Physical Sciences 
12. Civics & Econ.


Players from each team are grouped together, with each group of active players competing in a different set of rounds. Inactive players and coaches remain in the back of the room while the active players compete. The groups compete as follows:

  • Group A competes in Rounds 1, 5, and 9
  • Group B competes in Rounds 2, 6, and 10
  • Group C competes in Rounds 3, 7, and 11
  • Group D competes in Rounds 4, 8, and 12

A short break will be taken after Round 6.


During each round, twelve questions are read aloud and displayed on a large screen. Each team is challenged to process each question and record their answers quickly while listening to subsequent questions. Once all questions are read, the active players have a few minutes to collaborate and review their answers before responses are collected.


Players' responses are graded as the competition progresses. Each correct answer is awarded one point, while an incorrect answer is awarded no points. A scoreboard is updated after each round; team standings are updated to reflect their total points earned.

Winners and Advancement

A total of twelve teams will advance to the State Final. The top team in each Regional plus remaining teams from all Regionals with the next highest scores will advance.  At the State Tournament, the team with the highest score will be declared the winner of the NCASA Twelve Competition.

A Dynamic Challenge

Twelve is a fast-paced competition that challenges players and coaches. Below are some key factors and challenges of Twelve:

  • Suspense: Tension is generated before two unknowns are revealed at the kick-off: the wildcard topics and the topic groupings. This revelation generates excitement as teams select players to tackle the topic groupings.
  • Multitasking: Questions in each round are asked in succession, challenging the players to note answers while subsequent questions are asked. The pace allows students to process the questions and respond, but it is challenging enough to keep players on their toes.
  • Multimedia: Questions are presented using a variety of formats — including music, pictures, and videos.
  • Engagement: Team scores and standings are updated after each round throughout the competition. Round-by-round updates keep players excited and engaged.

Participant Feedback

The reactions of students, coaches, and volunteers who participated in NCASA Twelve events have been positive. Below are a few reactions from students and coaches who participated in Twelve events.

"A few of the questions were pretty advanced, which is a good thing, since it forces people to go deeper into a subject."

-- Student

"I thought the questions were enjoyable and relevant to my schoolwork."

-- Student

"As someone who is used to traditional quiz bowl tournaments, [Twelve] far exceeded my expectations."

-- Student

"Questions had a nice spread of categories ... timing was good."

-- Coach

More Information

If you have any questions, or if you would like more information about the NCASA Twelve Competition, please contact:

Leon Pfeiffer
Executive Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (919) 771 - 9272