THE Blue Crab Bowl

Virginia's regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB®) showcases some of the Commonweath's most talented science students as they display their mastery of oceanic knowledge.  In February or March of each year, 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 17th Annual Blue Crab Bowl was held January 31-February 1, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The Regional Coordinators are pleased to announce a successful competition involving 15 teams , the 1st-4th placing teams and the winning team that will represent the Blue Crab Bowl region at the NOSB Finals in May 2014.

Congratulations to Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School! Our 2014 Blue Crab Bowl winner placed 4th at the NOSB National Finals, May 1-4 in Seattle, WA. Plus, they garnered honors for top scores in Team Challenge Questions and the challenging Science Expert Briefing. For more details, see the media release.

  How does a competition match work? How do students prepare and what do they like about the Blue Crab Bowl competition? This video offers a glimpse into the Bowl at both regional and national levels. See both students and officials in action, hear interviews from past participants.


The invitation for Blue Crab Bowl 2015 will open September 2014. Visit again in August for more information on 2014 dates and deadlines. The Blue Crab Bowl can accommodate 16 teams. The 2015 competition will take place at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, VA.

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

Sixteen teams are selected by lottery from all teams who submitted a Statement of Intent by the deadline.  Teams must be registered by their Coach of Record.  Questions? Check out the Coaches & Students page or contact the 2014 Blue Crab Bowl Teams Coordinator

Teams Go Head-to-Head

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 acceptibility.

Competition rules and details, practice questions, recommended resources and tips on how to prepare are available on the NOSB® website at   For Virginia Regional Competition details, go to the "More Information" tab and select "For Teams."  Blue Crab Bowl documents are available in .pdf format.  For an overview of the Blue Crab Bowl, check out the Game in a Crab Shell summary. 

Competitors Win Prizes
Students and coaches are awarded exciting prizes at both the regional and the national bowls.


Volunteer recruitment for Blue Crab Bowl 2015 will begin in Fall 2014. 

make the Blue Crab Bowl possible.
  Bowl 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! 

Contact the BCB Coordinators to learn more.