For students in the USA, International Academic Competitions organizes two separate geography competitions: the exam-based US Geography Championships and the buzzer-based geography quiz tournament known as the International Geography Bee. IGB is a worldwide geography quiz competition that is contested in different regions of the world (the US being one of them), and then the top students win the right to play in the International Geography Bee World Championships which are held in conjunction with the International History Olympiad on a biennial basis. The inaugural IGB World Championships was held in Berlin, Germany in 2018 and the next IGB World Championship will be held in 2022 or 2023 depending on the Covid-19 situation.

The US Division of the IGB consists of the Qualifying Exam, Online Quiz Tournaments, and the National Championships. The same age divisions and the same definitions for these apply to the US Division of the IGB as they do for the US Geography Championships.
The 2020 National Championships of the International Geography Bee will take place online in December 2020. Please click here for a link to the full National Championships schedule. The event labeled “Historical Geography Exam” is open to all students, does not require prior qualifying, and is neither part of the US Geography Championships nor the International Geography Bee – it is an altogether separate event.

The 2021 National Championships of the International Geography Bee will most likely take place online in the spring of 2021. There is a chance that the National Championships of the International Geography Bee will take place in person in December 2021, but as of this update (in Sep. 2020), that appears unlikely. A final decision on the timing of 2021 National Championships will be made by early March 2021 at the latest.

US Varsity and JV students qualify for the National Championships of IGB in the exact same way they qualify for the National Championships of USGC – if you qualify for the one, by definition, you qualify for the other.

However, for the 2020-2021 academic year, students at the Middle School and Elementary School levels must first take the Online Qualifying Exam (which is free at these levels). Students who pass that level then must compete in the Regional Finals. Students who finish in the top 50% at the Middle and Elementary School Regional Finals qualify for the IGB US National Championships. Middle School and Elementary School students automatically qualify for the National Championships of the US Geography Championships if they qualify for the IGB Regional Finals.

US students qualify for the World Championships of IGB by finishing in the top half of their age division at Nationals, by finishing in the top 25% in the Regional Tournaments, or by scoring at least a 75 on any National Qualifying Exam version (for Varsity and JV levels only in 2020-2021). Qualification is then valid for two years or until whenever the next IGB World Championships are held.

The cost to compete at the IGB National Championships in 2020 is $75 for the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions, and $75 for the Middle School and Elementary School Divisions. This is the same price as the US Geography Championships for all age divisions as well.

The International Geography Bee is organized under the auspices of the staff of International Academic Competitions. More information on the International Geography Bee is available on the IGB website at www.internationalgeographybee.com. For further questions about USGC, IGB or IAC, please email us at info@iacompetitions.com.

Good luck!