Sheep Quiz Bowl

The main purpose is for enrolled 4-Hers to learn more about their sheep project and related areas, and making the process an enjoyable one.

It is implicit that all participants use 4-H guidelines for good conduct and behavior at all times. This means respect other teams, players and officials with proper language and actions.


One goal would be to have teams be from the same county. For county level activities, teams can involve mixed ages. Coaches should use every effort to balance teams with respect to age and experience categories.

  • Seniors: Any 4-Her reaching their 14th birthday by January 1 of the current year.
  • Juniors: Any 4-Her reaching their 11th birthday by January 1 of the current year.
  • Novice: Any 4-Her not having reached their 11th birthday by January 1 of the current year.


A special thank you in memory of Dr. Michael Thonney (1949-2021) Professor of Animal Science at Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, who provided questions and references used in Cornell’s Animal Science Sheep Production Course. For future Sheep Quiz Bowls, questions can be submitted by other interested parties. There are many potential sources including text books and SID materials.

The following resources are recommended. They are ideal for developing Sheep Bowl and Animal Science Skillathon contest questions.


  1. National 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl References
  2. SID Sheep Production Handbook
  3. Your Sheep: A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing, by Paula Simmons and Darrell Salsbury, DVM.
  4. Cornell Sheep Program


All participants must wait to be recognized by name before answering any question. One warning will be given for any infraction. The second & each subsequent infraction results in the loss of one point.

Who can answer: Since we are having mixed teams, the toss up questions will be designated for certain team members. For example, any participant can answer senior questions; juniors or novice participants can answer junior questions. Novice questions can only be answered by novices. This is designed to give adequate chances for all team members to answer regardless of skill level. The questions are specifically designed with age levels in mind.

Bonus Questions

Some toss up questions will have bonus follow-ups. These are questions that have multiple part answers relating to the toss up question. Bonus questions are answered by the team that correctly answers the toss up. It is up to the team coach to designate how and who will answer the bonus questions. It can rotate within the match. For example player 1 may answer the first bonus followed by player 2. Or one player may answer all bonus questions for each question. There will be a 45 second time limit for answering bonus questions. Contestants can confer with team members during this period of time.

Stealing answers: If a team cannot answer all parts of the bonus, the opposing team can “steal” the answers. They may answer the balance of the questions. If they answer more bonus portions than the first team, the second team gets the entire correct bonus answers for both teams.


All questions, (toss up or bonus) are worth 1 point. Unless otherwise designated, contestants will have 15 seconds to answer toss up questions.

Match time will be agreed upon at the start of play. Match time will vary from 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending upon the total number of participants.


  1. Moderator: The moderator will ask all questions to the participants. Upon request, the question maybe repeated once, if no correct answers are given.
  2. Judges: The goal is to have 3 judges to rule on any questions that may arise during play.
  3. Scorekeeper: There shall be at least one score keeper to keep track of scores. They may confer with the moderator or judges if necessary.The format of match play will be determined that day. While the preference is for all players to be enrolled in the NYS 4-H Sheep Project, others may join if the need arises. Any and all suggestions for future Sheep Quiz Bowls such as: times, rules, formats and other suggestions are very welcome. Please refer to your local 4H educator to submit suggestions.

For more information

Contact Brian Aukema at bja14 [at] (bja14[at]cornell[dot]edu).