During the month of March, the Godwin Scholastic Bowl team placed runner-up in their Region 5b online competition.
The Scholastic Bowl or “Quiz Bowl” is an academic competition that tests students’ knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of topics.
Sponsored by the Virginia High School League (VHSL), this activity is similar in structure to the local television show “Battle of the Brains,” where contestants are asked questions where they must answer with the use of a buzzer, while competing against other teams.
These teams consist of four people, who work together to answer a series of questions provided by the moderator.
“There are generally 20 long-form questions and 20 three-part short questions in a round at traditional tournaments,” said Scholastic Bowl Secretary and Godwin junior Eddie Zhang.
The level of competition will determine the types of questions and the amount of time provided at each match during a Quiz Bowl tournament.
“A match will last from 30 minutes to an hour usually. In larger tournaments, like at Maggie Walker or Georgetown, the competition will consist of a morning session that lasts until lunch (play-in or seeding matches) and then an afternoon session (where the playoffs will begin),” said Zhang.
With the wide array of knowledge necessary to participate in the Quiz Bowl, students must prepare and practice before competitions.
“I run practices by asking questions and having students “buzz-in” their answers. Team members typically work on picking which subjects they focus on so that they can form a well-rounded team in tournaments. These practices usually occur once a week,” said Quiz Bowl coach and Godwin history teacher Justin Broyles.
These competitions often take place in-person at high schools or colleges; however, Covid-19 has forced teams to adjust to online matches.
“Due to the pandemic, all of the competitions we’ve played in this year have been held online through Discord or Zoom,” said Quiz Bowl President and Godwin senior Fareed Sheriff.
Just like regular sports tournaments, these games can last for up to 11 hours.
“Competitions are typically day-long events, and they tend to begin at around eight or nine AM and end anywhere from four to seven PM,” said Sheriff.
The Scholastic Bowl comes with many challenges, due to difficult questions and time constraints.
“It is sometimes daunting when you first hear the questions and do not understand anything or have any idea what the answers could be,” said Godwin senior Ashish Vaidyanathan.
Scholastic Bowl team members have given advice for Godwin students who are interested in joining.
“Try your best to answer questions. It may be intimidating your first few meetings to get a question wrong, but there is a decent chance you know the answer,” said Scholastic Bowl Vice President and Godwin junior Pranav Bandla.
“Do not be discouraged if you are not able to answer a single question during the meetings. Over time, you will get used to the style of questions,” said Vaidyanathan.