Update 28 Sep 2020:

A format for the 2021 regional competitions of the National Ocean Science Bowl that will accommodate the constraints of the COVID pandemic is being formulated.

The NOSB organizers are seeking input from coaches, students and volunteers on your personal preferences regarding participation and scheduling of Shore Bowl, and any constraints you must operate within imposed by your school.

Please email shorebowl@marine.rutgers.edu to request the online survey links.

We still intend to run Shore Bowl 2021 when the time comes, but presently cannot give any indication of when and how this will work.

Registration for the 2021 Shore Bowl will be announced here in due course

Competition formats being debated are to be fully online, or possibly in-person later in the year (April/May 2021) with steps taken to allow safely distanced interactions. But no decisions have been made. Past competitors should anticipate being surveyed on possible formats in the near future.

The Shore Bowl is an exciting quiz-style competition for high school students (Grades 9-12) in NJ and Eastern PA that focuses on the ocean sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and geology.  We’re one of 25 regional competitions of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) hosted around the country each year.  The winning team will represent our region at the NOSB finals. Prizes are awarded to the top teams at both the regional and national levels.

The NOSB theme for 2021 is not yet announced. Study resources for the theme will available at the NOSB web site.

For more information about the NOSB program, watch the video below or visit the NOSB website.


In addition to be being great fun, the competition aims to encourage the next generation of ocean scientists, policy-makers, educators and stewards.  Participation in the Shore Bowl will:

Broaden the understanding of students, teachers, and the wider community on the latest ocean science.

Create an opportunity for teachers to use the oceans as a tool for both disciplinary and cross-disciplinary science education.

Allow students to interact with volunteers who work in a variety of ocean science settings, highlighting future career possibilities.

Below is a short video about the experience of past participants  (courtesy of NOSB):


Teams consist of a coach and at least four students (a fifth may act as an alternate). Teams compete head-to-head in timed, quiz-show styled matches that include multiple choice and short answer buzzer questions, as well as more detailed, written ‘team challenge’ questions. There will be a preliminary series of round-robin matches, following which the top-ranked teams will face off in an elimination round.

The NOSB website provides a more comprehensive description of competition rules, as well as sample competition questions, and study resources.