The Entomology Games are a lively question-and-answer, college bowl-style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams. Since its inception at the national level 40 years ago, it has become one of the biggest highlights of ESA annual meetings, both at the branch and national levels.
Reasons you need to be participating in the Entomology Games
Do you have what it takes to compete in the Games? The National Committee on Entomology Games highly encourages new teams, minority serving institutions, and departments with non-traditional entomology programs to participate in the Games, starting at the branch level. Reach out to your branch Gamesmaster for assistance in creating a team.
2024 National Gamemaster – Dr. David Plotkin - McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
Chair, National Committee on Entomology Games – Dr. Cheri Abraham - Syngenta Crop Protection
Vice Chair, National Committee on Entomology Games – Dr. Ashley Kennedy -Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife Mosquito Control
2023 Games Results
1st Place: Penn State University
Runner-Up: Kansas State University
2022 Games Results
1st Place: University of California, Davis
Runner-Up: Auburn University
2021 Games Results
Competition Questions/Game Rules
Points are scored by correctly answering questions asked by the moderator. The two types of questions are Toss-ups and Bonuses with each question worth 10 points.
Each round begins with a Toss-up question. The first player to signal answers the question. They must do so without consultation with other team members. They must be recognized by the moderator as the eligible respondent prior to giving the answer. Repeated failure to be recognized by the moderator may result in turning the question over to the opposing team. If no player signals within 10 seconds of completion of the question, no points are awarded and, the next Toss-up question begins.
If a player answers a Toss-up correctly, the team is awarded 10 points and is given a chance at a Bonus question. All team members may confer on the answer to the Bonus question. The team’s captain will act as spokesperson for the team, and their answer will be the official one. On the turnover, a player must signal and be recognized before answering. If a player answers a Toss-up incorrectly, the question is turned over to the other team without a deduction in score to the incorrect team. If answered correctly, 10 points are awarded.
A player may interrupt the moderator before a Toss-up question has been completely read by signaling. If a correct answer is given, the team scores 10 points and is given a chance at a Bonus question. If an incorrect answer is given, the team is penalized 5 points and the entire question is repeated for the other team. A correct answer by a member of the other team scores 10 points and a chance at a bonus question. Bonus questions are never eligible to be answered by the opposing team. Questions are read in their entirety only one time.
A game consists of 16 Toss-up questions. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. If the score is tied at the end of the regulation game, the tie is broken by a sudden-death playoff. The first correct answer to a Tie-Breaker Toss-up question wins the game. An incorrect answer through an interruption (an answer given before question completely read) to a Tie-Breaker loses the game.
Questions and answers are prepared by the ESA National Entomology Games Committee. Toss-up questions are categorized according to the following subject areas: (1) Biological Control, (2) Behavior & Ecology, (3) Economic & Applied Entomology, (4) Medical, Urban & Veterinary Entomology, (5) Morphology & Physiology, (6) Biochemistry & Toxicology, (7) Systematics & Evolution, and (8) IPM & Insect/Plant Interactions. Bonus questions can come from any area of entomology but will draw heavily on the areas of history, cultural entomology, current events and people. On the average, two Toss-up questions in each game will come from each subject-area category. Note: some subject areas span multiple disciplines such as apiculture, molecular entomology, disease vectors, etc. and can be cross functional.
The champion team will be determined by tournament format in which pairings are based upon the Branch level placing and scores.