What to Expect at the 2023 National Bible Bee Competition

November 1, 2023

The Summer Study has come and gone. For the past few months, about 360 contestants around the nation have been memorizing passages of Scripture and studying a portion of the Book of Romans, while staff members of the National Bible Bee have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the 2023 National Bible Bee Competition. Well, competition season is upon us, and in just under two weeks, we will gather at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. If you are wondering what the week of the NBBC will look like, this post is for you!

Sunday, November 12

To kick off this amazing week, contestants and their families will arrive at the conference center on Sunday afternoon. They will check in to their room(s) at the reception desk in the Pritchell building and then will proceed to NBBC Check-in in Pritchell 1. There they will receive individual agendas, name badges, contestant NBBC t-shirts, and bags. This event-specific check-in will occur between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Following event registration, maps will be given to families that they can use to guide them as they explore the Ridgecrest campus and familiarize themselves with the locations of the week’s various events. 

Monday, November 13

Monday will begin with fun and fellowship for contestants of each division in the form of the annual NBBC games. Primary, Junior, and Senior contestants will participate in these staff-led activities from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at designated spots around the Ridgecrest campus. Continuing the spirit of fellowship for the other attendees, the NBB Host Gathering and the NBB Alumni Gathering will occur in the afternoon. To cap off this fun-filled day, the NBBC Opening Ceremony will close the happenings of this day.

Tuesday, November 14

Competition activities will kick off today! Preliminary oral rounds will occur from 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Group A will lead the way bright and early at 7:00 a.m. as contestants, families, and guests arrive on the second floor of the Johnson Spring building. Here families and guests will be directed to the family staging area while contestants are brought to the oral staging area, where they will be read the general rules and guidelines. Contestants will line up in order, at the direction of their Division Guides, according to the information listed on the front of their name badges. The oral recitations will begin as contestants are called in one at a time to recite and then take a seat with their parents for the remainder of the preliminary oral round. Following suit, Groups B, C, and D will begin their oral round prep at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. respectively. 

After scores from these preliminary rounds have been tabulated, the Semi-Finalist and Perfect Oral announcements will happen in the evening. During this time, contestants, families, and guests may sit freely in the auditorium. If a contestant’s name is called, he or she will be directed to go on stage. Following the announcement, the semi-finalists of each division will gather for training and perfect oralists will be given an opportunity to sign up to recite a passage on stage with at least one other contestant.

Wednesday, November 15

It is time for the exciting semi-finalist rounds! The Primary Division Semi-Finals will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the first scored oral recitation round. Following will be a sudden-elimination oral recitation round, a multiple-choice questions round, and a final scored oral recitation round. The scores of these rounds will be combined to determine the top five finalists. Next, at 1:30 p.m. the Junior Semi-Finals will take place. The rounds will be in similar fashion to the Primary Semi-Finals rounds. Wednesdays activities will be wrapped up with the Senior Semi-Finals which will occur at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 16

Thursday, a bitter-sweet day, will mark the end of the 2023 National Bible Bee Competition. The top five contestants from each age division will compete in the Final Challenge Rounds. Primary Finals will begin at 9:00 a.m. This finals competition will consist of five segments: an oral recitation round, a multiple choice/short answer questions round, a buzzer recitation round,  buzzer questions round, and a final oral recitation round. The points of these rounds will be compiled to determine final placements. Next, at 1:30 p.m. the Junior Final Challenge Round will occur in the same format as Primary Finals. Competition activities will be completed after Senior Finals, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. But the day isn’t over yet!

Various opportunities for family fellowship will be provided around the Ridgecrest campus. These festivities will include a square dance, a hymn sing led by the 2023 Alumni Service Team, s’mores at the Ivy and Mtn. Laurel Fire Pits, and a game room where families can bring their own games to play and fellowship with others. Contestants, families, and guests will be permitted to rotate through these activities.

Throughout the entirety of the week, the primary goal of the National Bible Bee is to be a testimony of kindness and thoughtful manners to Ridgecrest Conference Center venue and staff. Let us each be praying toward this end in the final weeks leading up to NBBC. See you soon!

** To find out more about the National Bible Bee Competition access the Family Handbook on your dashboard. **

Written by NBB Alumna: Rachel Sheppard

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