The US Geography Olympiad is delighted to announce the launch of the International Geography Bee, a new, worldwide geography quiz competition for primary and secondary students!

Within the USA, the International Geography Bee effectively replaces the “Quiz Bowl tournament” portion of the US Geography Olympiad National Championships. The USGO Quiz Bowl Tournament had been held for the past four years at the Varsity and Junior Varsity level. IGB will continue that role under a new name, and also provide a buzzer quiz competition for Elementary and Middle School Division Students. IGB will also allow USA students to then compete at the IGB World Championships.

As is also the case with the US Geography Olympiad, within the USA, students who are in grade 8 or younger may compete both in the Junior Varsity Division and they may also compete in the Middle School Division if they are in 7th or 8th grade, and the Elementary Division if they are in 6th grade or lower. At the IGB World Championships, age is determined solely by birth date – students from the USA may only compete in one age division there.

The USA Division of the IGB consists of the National Qualifying Exam and the National Championships. Within the USA Division, the same four age divisions and the same definitions for these apply as they do for the US Geography Olympiad.

The Varsity Division and Junior Varsity Division National Championships for IGB will be held directly after the National Championships of the US Geography Olympiad on Friday, April 21 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. This is held in conjunction with the Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships of the National History Bee and Bowl and the US History Bee. Varsity and JV Nationals will consist of 3 preliminary rounds of 35 paragraph-length buzzer quiz questions, and two rounds of playoffs for the top students from the preliminaries. You can see sample questions here from past years’ US Geography Olympiad Quiz Bowl Tournament.

Middle School Division and Elementary Division Nationals in the USA for the IGB will be held directly after the National Championships of the US Geography Olympiad on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in conjunction with the National Championships of the US Academic Bee and Bowl.

US students qualify for the National Championships of IGB in the exact same way they qualify for the National Championships of USGO – if you qualify for the one, by definition, you qualify for the other. US students qualify for the World Championships of IGB by finishing in the top half of their age division at Nationals. Qualification is then valid for two years (you can qualify for the 2018 IGB World Championships at either the 2017 or 2018 IGB US National Championships).
In 2017, the cost to compete at Nationals is $75 for each age division; IGB World Championships prices will be available by autumn 2017.

The US National Champions in each age division of the International Geography Bee win a trip to the IGB World Championships thanks to the support of our sponsor in the USA, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!

The International Geography Bee is organized under the auspices of the USGO staff. More information on the International Geography Bee is available on the IGB website at For further questions about IGB, please email us at Good luck!