Brainstormers was a long running quiz bowl for Long Island high schools.
Two Long Island high schools (one with bells and one with buzzers) competed in each episode. There were three students from the school on each team who had to answer questions. The questions were given by category. Whoever had the most points at the end of the match were the winners.
Round 1: Toss-Up
The questions in this round were worth 10 points (later 3) with no point deductions for incorrect answers. The contestants had to signal to respond/answer. Missed questions would be offered to the opposing team. Conferring was not allowed in this round.
Round 2: Doubles
Same as the first round. If the first question was answered correctly, a second question would be given. Teams were allowed to confer on the doubles, but the captain was the only one who could answer.
At the end of the first or second round (depending on the season), a final toss-up was asked and a correct answer earned that team chance to answer a three-part bonus question for more points. When Jim Reed was the moderator, this came at the end of the second round, and each correct answer was worth 10 points. When June Connell was the moderator, it came at the end of the first round, and each correct answer was worth 3 points. The most points a team could earn here was 40 or 12, including the correct answer to the toss-up.
Round 3: Alternating Round
The first question went to the team with the lowest score. Contestants were still required to buzz-in/ring-in to answer, however, though they could confer before signaling. Correct answers were still worth 10 points (later 3); unlike the first two rounds, however, incorrect answers deducted 5 points (later 3). There was no penalty for not signaling. The round lasted for three minutes.
Final Round: Rapid Response
The contestants had answer the questions in a quick manner. When Jim Reed was the moderator, he still gave the category for each question; however, no categories were read by June Connell when she was the moderator. The point value for each correct answer was 20 points (later 5). An incorrect answer meant the team lost 10 (later 5). The round lasted for two minutes.
The team with the most points at the end of the match became the champion and moved on in the tournament. The winning team of each match would receive scholarships provided by the New York Institute of Technology, the champions of each county would receive a Webster's Dictionary and a plaque, and Grand Champions of the season would receive a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica and a trophy. In later seasons, each member of the winning teams received the same plaque and trophy. Later on, the scholarships were only awarded to the Grand Champions.
NYIT (New York Institute of Technology)
June Connell episode