Quiz bowl team buzzes its way to first place

Team wins Virginia Tech Fall Kickoff, qualifies for nationals


Saisha Dani, reporter

McLean’s quiz bowl team won the Virginia Tech Fall Kickoff competition last Saturday, Sept. 29, qualifying for a place at the High School National Competition Tournament for Quiz Bowl.

At the Virginia Tech competition, the team won 10 consecutive matches out of 11, leading them to finish off in first place.

The quiz bowl team (sometimes referred to as the Scholastic Bowl team) is an academic team that competes in trivia competitions. Students are required to answer a series of questions that range from academics, to sports, to pop culture.

“There’s going to be more of the academic type questions than there are pop culture questions,” said science teacher Jeff Brocketti, one of the coaches of the quiz bowl team.

The team participates in competitions locally with other schools as well as throughout the state at the Virginia High School League (VHSL).

The competitions include different types of questions. There are toss-up questions where all students have the ability to use a buzzer to buzz in and answer the questions. Along with that are team-directed questions when a question is asked to a specific team and everyone can consult with each other before answering.

The amount of people on the team vary from the type of competition.

“If it’s the television show It’s Academic there are three people playing on that. If it’s the VHSL competition or any other kind of competition that we do it’s four people on the team at any given time who are playing and have buzzers in their hands. But we can have teams up to 10 that can substitute,” Brocketti said.

For the past two years, the quiz bowl team has been the state runner-up. Last year at their first national competition in Atlanta, the team tied for 32nd place out of 352 teams.

“Our team has taken a drastic leap forward in the past two years,” Brocketti said.

During these past years the quiz bowl team has gone from a team who has not been competitive at a district level to among the best in the state.

“We plan to attempt to win the state championships this coming year,” said junior Justin Young, co-captain of the quiz bowl Team.

During team meetings, students practice for upcoming competitions or advance their knowledge and speed by testing each other on a wide variety of questions and topics.

“It’s not necessarily practicing for any one thing in particular– we’re just reading questions and trying to increase our knowledge,” Brocketti said.

Students also practice on their own, as each has a role based on the subjects they are interested in, since the questions cover all academic and non-academic subjects.

“When I practice on my own, I use flashcards to remember facts and information, and I read books,” Young said.

All who are interested in quiz bowl are encouraged to participate. The team meets Mondays before school in room Y201 and Wednesdays after school in room R133.

“We are always welcome for anyone to join,” Young said.