by Sam Smith

Loveland, Ohio – Academic team, also known as Quizbowl, is comparable to a more intense and team-based jeopardy for high school students. It involves high-level trivia, close teamwork and fierce competition. This season, Loveland has seen more success than in recent years, holding #1 in the ECC for several weeks before slipping to #3.

“We’ve had a very good season so far, with our only loss being to Walnut Hills. We have a tournament coming up on the 22nd for Varsity, so we’re hoping to do well there. We’re currently in third place. We were in first for pretty much the whole time, but then we got dethroned,” explained coach and Spanish teacher, Abra Koch.
“Academic team is doing really well this year. They’re in the mix of possibly bringing an ECC championship home,” explained athletic director, Julie Renner. Read more about Loveland’s winter sports here.
Mrs. Koch and Mrs. Chast watch the players as they take on Anderson.

The sport is fairly complicated and involved. Two students operate buzzers, and a moderator asks questions and oversees the four players on each team.

“Each game has four sections. The first two are standard question rounds in which teams collaborate, the third is an alphabet round (in which all the answers must start with the same letter), and the last is a “lightning” round — more of a free for all,” explained JV academic team member and junior, Radu Vasilescu.

In round one, students compete to answer questions covering American literature, math, life science, fine arts and world history. Four students are given trivia questions, and are allowed to answer by buzzing in, as soon as they are confident in their answer .

In the first two rounds, there is an overarching topic (think jeopardy categories, but a little more broad). For example, English world literature may be Shakespearean works.

In round two, participants answer trivia involving English/world literature, government, physical science, world geography and US history. In round one and two, there are two team questions and one tossup.

Riley Owens and Henry Daumeyer during round 1

 

Jess Griffiths and Henry Daumeyer prepare to answer

 

Cole Swartz buzzes in

For the alphabet round, players are given twenty questions, each with answers starting with the same letter. Each correct answer is worth two points. Incorrect or blank answers do not result in penalties.

“On a team question, it is designated to a certain team. They have two guesses. If they are wrong both times, the other team can steal, but they only get one guess. The toss up is a free-for-all. Either team can guess at anytime, but they only have one guess,” explained Varsity academic team player and junior, Riley Owens.

Lightning round consists of 20 tossup questions in a row which are completely random, and follow no assigned topic.
Henry Daumeyer during an alphabet round

 

Laura Rountree and Radu Vasilescu during an alphabet round

 

“We choose players based upon performance and spread of knowledge. For example, I am marginally the best at alphabet, but I am not in the round because other people are needed to have a proper spread of knowledge of the many topics which may arise. You don’t put four people all good with the same things in a round even if they are the best because you’re going to miss out on some things. Auxiliary and support players really are crucial,” continued Owens.
The JV team meets to practice every Monday, and the Varsity team competes on Tuesdays. Participants practice individually through websites such as protobowl (where you can try your hand at the trivia and get an idea of the level of difficulty) in order to keep their skills sharp and to expand their range of knowledge.
Players have seen their hard work pay off, and are satisfied with the performance this season.
Riley Owens answers

“It’s been great. The most thrilling moment was with Kings. They had a really good guy who was virtually their entire team. We got really intimidated the first game, but we brought it back together the second game,” explained academic team member, Riley Owens.

“The best moment was probably rallying against Kings. We were losing quite a bit in the first match, but then they pulled it together in the second match and did an outstanding job. I was really proud to see them come back from a loss, and not be defeated,” explained coach and chemistry teacher, Jennifer Chast.

 

Moderator and librarian, Theresa Bosse

“In my opinion, the best part of the season has been the great convivial mood in the room after a smashing victory, when the whole team comes together.  Seeing effort pay off is more important than any reward,” explained Vasilescu.

Varsity academic team will compete in the AQT tournament on Wednesday the 22nd at 4 PM at Turpin.

 


 



 

Sam Smith is a filmmaker, cinematographer, photographer and junior at Loveland High School.

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