(Special Awards provided by U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and various companies)


  1. To encourage youth to expand their knowledge of avian facts, and become proficient in poultry management, and related subjects.
  2. To serve as an award activity and trip for youth who have achieved superior levels of performance in a state competition and thus stimulate their learning processes, interest, and enthusiasm.
  3. To help youth with career guidance, and to promote the poultry industry, by stimulating their interest in poultry and other avian species.
  4. To make learning fun.

THE 2023 STUDY PACKET: - updated 12/30/2022

All questions and answers will come from the following material in the 2016 version of the Avian Bowl Manual:

  • Prologue ... pdf available online
  • Avian systems (Circulatory, nervous, excretory, muscle, skeletal only) ... pages 39-40
  • Breeds, varieties, and strains (through New Hampshires, Characteristics) ... pages 67-71
  • Eggcyclopedia  ... pages 102-124
  • Small turkey flock (All)... pages 45-54
  • A revised version of 'Changing World of Poultry and Eggs Market' ... pdf available online
  • Embryology (Daily development through entire glossary) ... pages 191-195
  • New section: Non-food uses of eggs ... pdf available online

Note: The above study material came from the National 4-H Avian Bowl Manual revised in 2016.

The avian bowl manual is now available online, free of charge, including some of the new sections and some of the revised sections.

2023 avian bowl sections (pdf)

Prologue to the new avian bowl manual (pdf)

Changing world of poultry and egg markets (pdf)

Complete 2016 avian bowl manual (pdf) for the pages from avian systems; breeds, varieties, and strains; eggcyclopedia; small turkey flock; and embryology

If you wish to purchase a printed copy of the old avian bowl manual (or the 2023 revised manual once it is available) you may do so through Clemson University:

4-H Manual 161, Clemson University

Dillard Building
105 Klugh Avenue 
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-0281 (phone); (864) 656-0687 (fax); Attn: Shannell Mathis 


They no longer accept checks



  1. Each state may enter a team of not less than two (2), and not more than four (4) members.
  2. There will be a 25-question written quiz given the evening preceding the Avian Bowl Contest.  The scores for the top three individuals will be added and averaged to give a team score.
  3. Questions will be prepared from the National Avian Bowl Study Packet by the Avian Bowl Committee.  Sale price and ordering information are available from Clemson University Bulletin Room -- Room 82, Poole Agricultural Bldg., Clemson, SC  29634 -- $15.00 per copy.
  4.  Questions will be fill-in-the-blank (short answer), multiple-choice, and spelling.
  5.  State representatives will be determined by the State 4-H Office or designated representative.
  6.  Team members may be participants in other contests.
  7.  As in other contests, team members may only compete for one year.
  8. The Game Layout is shown below
    Avian Bowl layout
  9. The audience is required at all times to refrain from providing answers to any team member.  Disciplinary action for violations will be at the discretion of the Avian Bowl Contest judges.
  10.  In the event an odd number of teams register, a "bye" will be awarded, as necessary, in order to allow all teams to participate.
  11.  No pictures will be allowed during the contest. No recording of any kind (tape recorders, videos, or written transcription) will be allowed.


  • Moderator - Assumes complete direction of the contest, asks all questions, designates contestants to answer questions, acts as the referee judge, and is IN CHARGE at all times.
  • Referee Judge - May rule on the acceptability of an answer. 
  • Time Keeper - Records total elapsed time for each contest and indicates to the moderator the expiration of total time or the expiration of the time allowed in which to answer questions.
  • Score Keepers - Two individuals shall keep scores on each contest.  One score should be kept so that all points awarded or taken away in penalties may be checked.  The second score is kept to maintain scores visible to the moderator, the contestants, and, so far as possible, the viewing audience.


  • The degree of difficulty and choice of questions will depend upon the contestants’ level of knowledge.
  • Questions may be in the form of written words.
  • Number of Questions. Each set of teams within a single round will have the same number of questions.  Bonus questions will have the same point value in each game within a single round.
  • Types of Questions. There are three types of questions:
    1. Regular Questions.
    2. Bonus Questions - A bonus question is usually a question requiring a several-part answer or a difficult answer.  See the point system summary for point values.  Bonus questions WILL NOT be passed on to the other team in the event of an incorrect answer.  When a team member answers a regular question correctly, a colored card in front of that team member will be turned over by the moderator.  Regardless of the number of members on a team, four (4) questions must be answered correctly by the team before a Bonus Question is earned. There will only be one bonus question per team per game.
    3. Tie-breaker Questions - A tie-breaker question is used to replace a question thrown out by the judges.  It is also used for the extra questions needed to break a tie between teams.


  • Correct Answer ------------------------------------------------ plus 5 points
  • Incorrect Answer----------------------------------------------- MINUS 5 points
  • Acknowledgment Penalty------------------------------------ MINUS 5 points
  • Bonus Question ----------------------------------------------- plus 10 points

5 points per correct answer on multi-answer questions or bonus value on regular answers.  NO loss of points for an incorrect answer on bonus questions.  The value of the bonus questions will be announced by the moderator before the question is read.

Tied Games
.  In the event that two teams have a tied score in games involving placings, the tie will be broken by asking an additional five (5) questions.  The running score will be maintained through the tiebreaker. Questions answered correctly during the tie-breaker can go toward the awarding of a bonus question if the team has not already received a bonus question during that game.


Competing teams should know well in advance the specific sources from which questions are taken. Questions will be taken from the revised 2016 National 4-H Avian Bowl Manual plus the online sections posted above. Study sections are listed above.


  1.  Format
    1. A double-elimination tournament-style format will be followed.  Any team which loses two games will be eliminated from the contest.  The contest will continue until only one team remains with less than two losses.
  2. Pairings, Byes, Order of Play, and Placings
    1. The average team score for the written test (the lowest score will still be dropped) will be used to determine the seedings for the contest.
    2. In the case of two average team-written test scores being identical, the seeding will be determined by a coin toss.
    3. The contest will be a classic double-elimination contest and will be run as such by an individual versed in contest organization.
  3.  The written scores will not be added at the end of the oral competition.
  4. The moderator will ask a question.  The first person whose light flashes must start to answer the question within five (5) seconds after being acknowledged, or LOSE five (5) points.
    1. Any member answering a question without being acknowledged will LOSE five (5) points.
    2. It will be the responsibility of the judges to determine that an answer was started within the five (5) seconds allowed.  It should be noted that repeating the question does not constitute the initiation of an answer.
    3. If an incorrect answer is given, the team will LOSE five (5) points.
    4. If the question has been completely read, the moderator will not repeat the question, but the other team will have the opportunity to ring in within five (5) seconds.
    5. Timing will begin when the question is complete and when a signal is activated.
    6. Once a contestant starts spelling a word the contestant may stop and begin again, but can only re-trace the spelling previously given.  The same holds true for a contestant with a fill-in-the-blank question.  The contestant can restart, but not change what has already been said.
  5. When a signal is activated before the question is completely read, the moderator shall stop reading the question, then the contestant has five (5) seconds to start the answer based on that portion of the question.
    1. If the answer is correct, the team will receive five (5) points.
    2. If the answer is incorrect or incomplete, the team will LOSE five (5) points.
    3. If the question was interrupted, the judge may NOT ask the contestant to be more specific, expand, or explain in any way their answer.
    4. If an interrupted question is answered incorrectly--the question shall then be completely reread and the other team will have the opportunity to answer it.
  6. If neither team can offer an answer to the question within 10 seconds, the moderator will give the answer and the question will be dropped and neither team will forfeit points.
  7. The ONLY discussion allowed between team members will be on BONUS questions.  The answers MUST come from the team captain.
    1. Only the number of answers required by the bonus question will be accepted.  Example:  If the bonus has a four-part answer--the first four answers given by the team captain will be accepted.
    2. On a bonus question, the team may have ten (10) seconds to consult.  Time will be called at the end of ten (10) seconds--the Captain must start the answer within five (5) seconds.
    3. Once the Captain starts the answers, he/she will have thirty (30) seconds to complete the answers required.


Answers and interpretations of questions will be the sole responsibility and final recall of the judge.  All decisions of the judge, scorekeepers, and referee-timers are FINAL.

  1. A team member will have the privilege to ask the judge to verify an answer that he/she feels is correct.
  2. If a coach challenges the judge's decision--the coach must call "time out" immediately (before the next question is read).  A decision made by the judge after the answer is verified will be FINAL.
  3. Only answers contained in the Avian Bowl Manual will be acceptable to the Judge.