Saturday, Jan. 19, students from the Quiz Bowl team and National Honors Society arrived at RBHS on their weekend time at 9 a.m. to participate in a Quiz Bowl tournament held at the school. However, the RBHS Quiz Bowl team’s participation in the tournament was different than usual, as the students acted as moderators for the other participating teams rather than competitors in the event itself. National Honors Society volunteers helped staff the tournament as well.
RBHS Quiz Bowl team coach Greg Irwin said even though the RBHS team didn’t compete, the event still held a large amount of significance.
“This is a big fundraiser for the year, so sometimes, like in show choir, they’ll have a performance, but they’re not necessarily going to compete for a trophy,” Irwin said. “The schools pay entry fees and that’s a way that we can fund our trips to nationals or buy extra supplies or pay for buses, all the little things. We don’t really get a stipend like many sports do or other activities, like show choir does, things like that, that pay for everything out of pocket, so I try to not make my students pay out of their pockets. Usually the only out-of-pocket expense is in nationals; sometimes kids have to pay 50, maybe 60 bucks and that’s about it.”
Hosting the tournament is not only beneficial to the team financially, but also allows the student moderators access to quiz bowl tournament content they can learn from while moderating. Senior Cameron Grahl is on the RBHS Quiz Bowl team and found the information distributed and experience with other schools helpful for future tournaments when she was performing her job as a moderator.
“I think it was important so that people on the team don’t always, like, compete, and it’s also a good experience to read the question because then you get exposed to new questions and then you have the answers, so you can also get better while you’re moderating,” Grahl said. “So I think it’s really good practice for the team to then just host the tournament, and I think it’s also really good in terms of expanding who we know in the Quiz Bowl kind of circle and then start basing friendships off of that and getting to know teams like that.”
Irwin said competing schools in the state often go to one another’s hosting tournaments for the same purpose of expanding competence and also for friendly rivalry. Irwin said that while some schools have the ability to host official tournaments, very few are able to completely make their own tournament by creating their own questions for the tournament, a privilege proving a school’s prowess.
“It’s fun but it’s a learning experience just like any other activity, you know; like in basketball, the more free throws you shoot, the better you’re going to be, so the more reading of questions, whether you do them yourself or other people read them … it’s as much [of] a learning exercise,” Irwin said. “Now it’s the best thing to write your questions … It takes a lot more skill to write questions and do the research, and it’s pretty time-consuming, but once you can do it, it makes you a much better player.”
By Blake Becker