Flex Your Brain With Quiz Bowl


Image Courtesy of Andrew Ashton

Part of the Quiz Bowl relaxes before the meeting begins.

Oratory crushes it out on the playing field, whether the sport is cross-country, basketball, soccer, or even bowling. However, we all know that OP is more than a bunch of meatheads who are here only for sports (guess what school I’m thinking of…). Our prestigious Mock Jocks, for example, regularly wow with their compelling case arguments. However, it is no secret that Mock Trial in particular (but also clubs like Model UN) requires a lot of mental grinding and stress. In terms of time commitment, Mock Trial might as well be a sport (except it sometimes prevents students from doing a physical one). Getting sleep and turning in good homework is hard enough without large time commitments, and as anyone with a sport or demanding club can tell you it only gets harder during that time. Moreover, some people’s brains just aren’t geared for something like Mock Trial or another “intellect” club, and other people just don’t care for it. Still, do you want to flex your mental prowess over your inferior classmates? Do you love history or simply have a knack for internalizing information? Join Quiz Bowl!

The Quiz Bowl team has casual meetings every Monday before school. We operate under the guidance of the enigmatic Mr. McCrystal and with Christopher McAllister and Matthew Mazzuca as student leaders (at least according to Google Classroom). If you prefer to not stress in the mornings, Quiz Bowl is for you. People filter in throughout the morning. Once the two teams with buzzers are full, anybody else just joins the “slap team” and alerts Mr. McCrystal of their answer by aggressively punishing the desk. Talk about a low time commitment; we only have about three-four competitions a year, and they are not mandatory.

Technically, Quiz Bowl is more of a History Bowl than a general-knowledge competition. But what does the Quiz Bowl actually do? In short, two teams face each other over buzzers. The reader gives off questions mostly related to history but sometimes connected to other subjects. There are four rounds in a game. The first is simple: buzz in with your answer, you cannot confer with your team, and if you get it wrong the other team can wait for the end of the question and answer. Round 2 is exactly like the first except that the team that gets a question right gets a related bonus that only they can answer and that they can talk about together. Round 3 presents three possible categories to choose from, each representing a speed round of 60 seconds for each team. Finally, Round 4 encourages early and risky guesses by rewarding more points earlier in the question. 

Quiz Bowl is a great way to learn while also having fun. While I am pretty good at history, it has never been my best subject. As much as I enjoy learning about history, I am not a walking encyclopedia of facts. That’s okay! Nobody truly studies for Quiz Bowl, at least not in the traditional sense. Just consuming a bit more historical information (a YouTube video or a book occasionally, for instance) is enough. If you already like history, Quiz Bowl will be both fun and interesting.

You can join at any time. See you at 7:40 next Monday!