- Leah Levy
Quiz Bowl Spotlight
Members of the School Without Walls Quiz Bowl team gather twice a week in room 404 to answer questions covering a wide variety of subjects, including literature, science, popular culture, sports, and history.
Quiz Bowl is a competitive trivia game played by two teams who use buzzers to respond to a variety of questions. Teams of middle school, high school, and college students prepare for and compete in formal Quiz Bowl tournaments throughout the year. The National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) organizes six national championships each year in North America and provides practice questions throughout the year to promote learning, creativity, and teamwork in preparation for the competitions.
Four freshmen formed the current Walls Quiz Bowl team in April. Elijah Lott, a co-president, explains that the leaders “didn’t really have time to tell anybody about the club, so this year we did a better job of getting the word out and informing people. We did the Club Fair, so this year we have a lot more people.” The size of Quiz Bowl at Walls has tripled from what it was in the previous year.
Now sophomores, Max Stacey, Paul Joire, and Patrick Morelli, and Lott are the leaders of the club. They arrange mock tournaments on Tuesday and Thursday mornings every week. Club members answer NAQT questions that the leaders arranged for the club meetings to better understand how the tournaments work and to explore the various subjects.
The first question asked is called a “toss-up” question and can be answered by one member of any team. By correctly answering this question, a team will earn up to fifteen points, depending on how fast they answer. Then, they will receive a three-part bonus question that can be discussed by the whole team, and then answered by one member. There can be up to four participating players on each Quiz Bowl team and a maximum of two alternates.
“There is a lot to learn in a lot of different areas, because the questions are spread out in a lot of different topics,” explained sophomore Ian Springer, a member since the club started last year. “So everyone is going to have one area that they are really good at, and one where they can work to improve.” Many members joined the club to learn about new subjects as well as to contribute what they already know.
One literature question in the 2021 PACE National Scholastic Championship, a high school tournament, asked about the domain of the Greek goddess Demeter as described in a number of classical poems. Acceptable answers to the question included farming, agriculture, harvesting, and growing crops.
“We are going to a few tournaments this year, so competing and doing well at those tournaments are some of our main goals,” Lott said. “But [we hope] also for everyone to have a good and fun time.”
Sophomore Nadia Lytle, another founding member, praised the welcoming and exciting environment. “I love the energy that Quiz Bowl brings,” she said. “Everyone is so nice, and everyone is just trying to have fun.”
Quiz Bowl meets in room 404 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m.