Quiz Bowl continues to practice, compete against other schools


Photo by Quinn Lugenbeel

Answer: The Old Man and the Sea

Due to virtual schooling, the Quiz Bowl Club began hosting their weekly meetings during lunch on Tuesdays. They now use Zoom to conduct scrimmages because the raise hand feature allows members to simulate a buzz in.

During a normal Quiz Bowl meeting, the club members are split into teams to run scrimmages where questions are read aloud by a club officer or sponsor, and members buzz in when they think they know the answer. If the answer is correct, they earn points and three bonus questions that they can discuss with their team to earn additional points. “Quiz Bowl really broadens a student’s horizons and opens their eyes to the fact that there are so many varied fields of study,” co-sponsor Margaret Foeckler said.

Since Quiz Bowl can’t meet in person, they can’t use their buzzer system, so they’ve been using the raise hand feature on Zoom to signal a buzz in. When using the raise hand feature on Zoom, participant names order themselves from top to bottom in order of how quickly they raised their hand, so the host can see who buzzed in first. “Sometimes we have issues, but for the most part, Zoom has been working pretty well for us,” junior officer Iris Yang said.

There have been struggles with fairness, as internet speeds aren’t always reliable, which causes members to be slower to buzz in, so the club has tried using a website called BuzzIn.live to fix this issue. Using BuzzIn.live, members click a buzzer, which allows the host to immediately see who buzzed first, but the website costs money for more than eight players, so it’s not useful for the whole club. “I wish there was some other program that is more reliable,” senior President Joyce Wang said.

Another issue the club is facing is member participation. Fewer new members have joined the club than in previous years, and older members have stopped coming to meetings. “When school resumes in-person, I would expect to see more and more people interested in the club,” senior Treasurer Milan Das said.

During a normal school year, Quiz Bowl’s weekly meetings are on Thursdays after school from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.. This year, the club meetings were switched to Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. because Montgomery Academic Beltway League meetings are being held during the old meeting time. “MABL’s been going great. Last week we had our first official game and both our Wootton A and Wootton B teams won,” Wang said.

The Quiz Bowl Club is also preparing to compete against Paint Branch HS and T. C. Williamson HS on the television show “It’s Academic” on Oct. 25. The show will be filmed over Zoom, showing each team, composed of three members and one alternate, competing in a Jeopardy style scrimmage. “In a nutshell, Quiz Bowl is just fun. It allows me to actually use all of the quirky facts that I know while also teaching me new facts to flex,” Yang said.