Volunteer Opportunity: Timekeeper

All Timekeepers with fewer than three years of experience should attend training at ORAU’s Pollard Auditorium. Please see the volunteer registration form for the date and time of this training. The timekeeping rules and competition format will be reviewed.


  • Focus on the time (not the game) and whether a question is a toss-up or a bonus.
  • Know the rules!

Timing the 8-Minute Halves:

    • Operate the official competition time clock. You will be provided with a timer that is integrated with the buzzer system and times both the match and the questions.
    • At the beginning of each half, the clock should be set at 8 minutes.
    • The clock should be started as soon as the Moderator begins to read the first question. 
    • Begin timing as soon as the moderator finishes reading the question.
    • The clock should be allowed to run uninterrupted until time expires UNLESS there is a question or rules challenge. If there is a challenge or other long interruption, press pause.
    • After the first half, call "HALF" and time the break for 2 minutes. At the end of the game, call "GAME."
    • At the conclusion of each half, reset the clock.
    • If there is an interruption, stop the clock until the issue is resolved. Restart the timer when the Moderator begins reading the next question. Add time back onto the clock if the Moderator feels that an interruption has unduly used competition time. Again, be certain to explain to the participants that a time correction is being made.
  • Timing the Toss-up and Bonus Questions:
    • On toss-up questions, one of the teams must answer within 5 seconds of when the Moderator completes the question. Time the 5 seconds allowed using the remote control on the timer system. There is no need to call "TIME" when the time expires because the timer system will buzz. If the first team answers incorrectly, the second team has five seconds to buzz-in after the moderator says, “not correct”.
    • Keep track of the time for bonus questions. Each time a team correctly answers a toss-up question, the team will be awarded a bonus question. The students have 20 seconds to answer the bonus question AFTER the moderator has finished reading the question. After 15 seconds in the bonus period has elapsed, the timer will buzz one short buzz to alert the students that only 5 seconds remain to answer the question. At the end of the 20 seconds, the timer will buzz two buzzers to notify students that time has expired.