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Virginia's regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB®) showcases some of the Commonwealth's most talented science students as they display their mastery of oceanic knowledge. In February or March of each year, up to 16 teams from Virginia high schools compete in a contest co-hosted by the Old Dominion University and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  The winning team goes on to represent Virginia at the National finals where they face teams from other regions.  Download a profile that summarizes the Blue Crab Bowl's history, structure and statistics.

The Blue Crab Bowl coordinators are excited to announce that the 25th annual competition will be virtual and held on February 11 - 12, 2022.

Teams are selected by lottery from all valid Pre-Registration (Statement of Intent) forms submitted by November 2, 2021. The 1st and 2nd Place teams from the prior year are granted a slot, if they register by the deadline. All teams must be registered by their Coach of Record.

Competition teams consist of five high school students (four competitors and one alternate) and an adult coach. Who is eligible to participate?  The Blue Crab Bowl coaching and student participation guidelines describe team composition and coach affiliation and behavorial expectations. Rules will be modified for a virtual format.

In this academic competition, students answer multiple-choice, short-answer, and long-answer analytical questions drawn from scientific and technical ocean science disciplines. Topics covered include biology, chemistry, physics, geology, as well as maritime history, marine policy and current events.  Bowl officials and judges manage the matches and rule on answer acceptability.

Students and coaches are awarded exciting prizes at both the regional and the national bowls. To receive Blue Crab Bowl prizes, teams must be present at the competition Awards Ceremony.

Want to know more? Check out the Teams page

Volunteer recruitment for Blue Crab Bowl begins in the fall.
Volunteers make the Blue Crab Bowl possible. Officials and judges are faculty, researchers, graduate students and staff from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Old Dominion University, as well as their colleague institutions and agencies. It takes more than 70 volunteers to make this event the success it is each year.  Join us and inspire the next generation of marine scientists! 

How does a competition match work? How do students prepare and what do they like about the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition? This video offers a glimpse into the Bowl at the national level. See students in action and hear interviews from past participants.