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Job Description: Timekeeper

When you arrive, go to the registration table and check in. Inquire as to whether you need to pick up your stop watch, or if the quizmaster assigned to your room will bring it to you. From there you can go to the room assigned to you during training or get your assignment at the registration table.

The official timekeeper is responsible for operating the game clock as well as the individual timer (stopwatch).

The game clock is set for ten minutes at the start of each half. When the time is up the buzzer will sound indicating the end of the first round. You will let the game clock run uninterrupted until time expires, UNLESS there is a question or a rules challenge. If there is an interruption, stop the clock until the issue is resolved. Start the timer when the quizmaster begins reading the next question.

You will use the stopwatch to time ten seconds for each toss-up question. The start of the ten seconds begins when the quizmaster concludes the reading of the question. Some questions such as math which require the players to calculate the answers on paper, may naturally take longer than what ten seconds would allow. The quizmaster will make this determination. In either situation, at the end of the allotted time, push the buzzer located at the top of the game clock to indicate time has expired. When the buzzer is activated indicating time has expired, one of the teams must have buzzed in prior to the expiration of the allotted ten seconds. If the first team answers incorrectly, they will be charged with an incorrect answer and the opposing team may answer the same question. If this is the case, you will begin timing their ten seconds when the Quizmaster turns control of the question over to the second team. This might be done by rereading the question or by simply saying, “...team B, the same question,” or something similar.

You are also responsible for timing the twenty seconds for the bonus questions. For bonus questions, again start the clock at the conclusion of the reading of the question. The expiration of time will again be indicated by the timekeeper manually pushing the buzzer at the top of the game clock. The team captain must have buzzed in prior to the expiration of the allotted twenty seconds in order for his or her teams answer to be accepted. This is the same as the toss-up questions. It is also your responsibility during a bonus question only, to announce at fifteen seconds, that there is five seconds remaining.

You will also time the two-one minute rounds of the Lightning Round. Set the larger game clock to one minute and turn it on when the quizmaster begins reading the first question. When the clock reaches zero, the round is over and no further answer can be given.

If a team asks a question to be repeated a second time, the clock will continue to run. In this circumstance, it is possible that neither team will have a chance to buzz-in prior to the ten seconds coming to an end. However, another player from the opposing team may push their buzzer and answer the question at any time during the rereading.

If a team buzzes-in and answers the toss-up question incorrectly, prior to the question being completely read, then the second team will be allowed to have the question read in its entirety before starting the clock.

When a team buzzes-in to indicate their intent of answering a question, they will need to answer immediately. The quizmaster will allow them only, “a natural pause,” or approximately two seconds , as determined by the quizmaster, before declaring an incorrect answer to a question. The team will then lose five points.

Quick Review

Game clock for each half: 10:00
Toss-up question: :10
Math toss-up question for first team: :20 (may be :10, as determined by the quizmaster)
Math toss-up for second team: :20
Bonus question: :20
Lightning Round for each team: 1:00


Science Bowl Contacts:

Steve Zollinger, 208-313-4559 Send Email

Brenda Greenhalgh, 208-526-9399 Send Email

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office