Spoonbill Teams

When is the regional competition this year?

February 11-12, 2022

Want to compete?

Complete a Team Registration Form

Who: Teams of 4 students, an alternate, and a coach from high schools from along the west-central coast of Florida.

What: The Spoonbill Bowl consists of a round-robin and single-elimination formats for teams of high school students. The format involves a timed competition of multiple-choice or short-answer questions within the broad category of the oceans. Questions are drawn from the scientific and technical disciplines used in studying the oceans (physics, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science, biology, etc.) as well as topics on the contributions of the oceans to national and international economics, history, and culture.

Where: USF College of Marine Science, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Florida Marine Research Institute. Click here to view USF St. Petersburg Map

Why: It is our hope that during this competition teams, coaches and volunteers will have fun while increasing understanding about the oceans, advancing ocean literacy, and raising the visibility of ocean-related research.

Where is the Spoonbill Bowl competition?

The competition is hosted by USF College of Marine Science at the USF St. Petersburg campus, if an in-person event. Otherwise, the competition will be a virtual event hosted by USF College of Marine Science via Zoom or another video conferencing service.

Want to form a team to compete?

First, grab some friends. Each team must consist of four students (up to five, with one member as an alternate) and a coach. All students must be currently enrolled in high school. For more information on eligibility and coaching policy, please review our rules.

Next, check out our competition map and find the region closest to you. Contact the coordinator for that region to see if they have an opening for a new team. They can help you get registered for the competition and provide details regarding location and time. Registration for regional competitions typically occurs in the Fall.

Finally, study up! NOSB covers marine/coastal environment in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, physical oceanography, social sciences, marine policy, geography, and technology. Review some of our sample questions to become familiar with the format.

How many teams can enter?

Generally, the Spoonbill competition can accommodate up to 18 teams depending on the budget and facilities available for in-person events. A high school or club can register a maximum of two teams, an A team and B team. All B Teams will be selected by a random drawing and may be called upon as late as competition day.

Can parents and guests attend the event?

Absolutely, but lunch can only be provided for teams and volunteers. There are eateries on campus and downtown St. Petersburg for guests and fans.

Where can I find practice buzzer questions?

  • The national website has sets of past questions in two formats buzzer and team challenge. Visit nosb.org/learn/sample-questions
  • Buzzer and short answer questions can be generated by team members and used during practice sessions.
  • Oceanography and other science textbooks have review questions that can be adapted to buzzer and short answer formats.

Benefits for Teams and Coaches

How do I become a volunteer for the event?

  • Up to 60 Volunteers are needed for the event.Volunteer Roles can be found here.
  • Volunteers are the backbone of the event and a T-shirt, meals, and an ocean of fun!
  • Volunteer training is provided prior to the event to learn and practice roles and responsibilities.
  • Please visit Spoonbill Volunteering.

How can I find out more information about the Spoonbill Bowl?

Contact greely@usf.edu for sponsorship opportunities, registration, and event day information.