Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scholar's Bowl

The trivia questions I've been posting have been from an academic competition called Scholars' Bowl. Teams of 4-6 compete against each other in a three-round format.

Round one (10 minutes) has toss-up questions. The question is read and a player from either team can buzz-in and answer the question (hence "toss-up"). The questions will often have three to four sentences, the first being an obscure clue and the rest giving progressively more information. A good player will recognize the answer from the first sentence but has to weigh the 10 points for a correct answer against his uncertainty and the 5 point penalty for guessing early and incorrectly. A correct answer wins 10 points and first shot at 3 bonus questions. That's a fun part of the competition - do I guess early and risk the penalty, or wait and maybe I'm wrong but no penalty? What if the other team buzzes first? Typically, this round ends with scores of 50 to 60 or so.

Round Two is the lightning round. The trailing team gets one minute for 10 quick-answer questions, 5 points per. Any that they "pass" or answer incorrectly are then asked of the other team. Answer all ten and get 10 extra points. (total 60). Then team two has ten questions and any they miss are asked of team one. The scores are usually pretty close after the second round and usually close to 100 each.

Round Three is all toss-up questions, no bonuses. This round is fast and the points come quickly. A good reader can make or break a competition - read deliberately and the teams are antsy and jumping at straws. Read quickly and clearly and the teams settle into that zone you hear about. Very fun.

If you can get your school to sponsor a team, it's worth it.

This book is a good place to start your classes off:
Campbell's Potpourri III of Quiz Bowl Questions

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