Highlander Quiz Bowl team making strides, led by captain Noah Chin

The Highlander Quiz Bowl team won regionals and are looking to push to states with the help of captain Noah Chin


Courtesy of @McLean_High on Instagram

Quiz Bowl team holding up the Liberty District Champion banner.

Quiz Bowl is an intense trivial competition between two teams over who knows the most knowledge from a wide range of categories the quickest. Two teams answer questions ranging from simple mathematics to sports and pop culture. It may seem like a competition solely determined by knowledge, but there is actually some psychology behind winning games.

“What separates good players from the rest is not just being able to recall information,” said Quiz Bowl coach Jeffrey Brocketti, “rather it’s the confidence to press the button believing you have the right answer, and being okay with being wrong.”

The Highlander Quiz Bowl team has many talented players which helped them win regionals. One Quiz Bowl team member who has been a vital factor in the team’s success is senior Noah Chin, who has been a part of Quiz Bowl since 7th grade and has been a captain since his sophomore year.

“He excels through his leadership and sets an example on top of being very bright and a good Quiz Bowl player,” Brocketti said.

Regarding his leadership, teammates express that Chin has a tradition of giving speeches to his teammates to serve as motivation for upcoming matches.

“Whenever we [have] something big coming, he’ll always give these motivational speeches that [have] become a tradition,” senior member Carter Pisocky said.

Chin’s experience gives him a good understanding of how Quiz Bowl works and what questions are the most crucial. 

The core of quiz bowl is the tossup question, where the questions go from obscure information to well-known information, with both teams racing to buzz into the question as fast as possible,” Chin said. “If you buzz in early enough, you get five extra points, referred to as a power, but if you get the question wrong before it is finished being read, you lose five points, called a neg. In most competitions, tossups are followed by three bonus questions worth 10 points each.”

As a team, the Highlanders have enjoyed success, having won regionals before.

“Winning regionals was a really good feeling. It displayed that our hard work had paid off and that we are a strong team [with] the potential to win states,” Pisocky said.

Winning regionals isn’t easy; many other schools have competitors that are just as bright and teams that are also competing for a chance to win. As a result, the Highlander team has specific practices to guarantee them the best shot of succeeding.

“We have a whole database of questions that people write, and usually Noah, Mrs. Benedict, or [I] will go through them. Overall it’s a lot more laid back than people may think,” Brocketti said.

The Highlanders are preparing and practicing to compete for and win states. Though many other competitive teams have won their region, the Highlanders can bring home states in the next month. 

“In addition to being Liberty District Champions, we also won our Northern Regional, qualifying us for the state championship in mid-February,” Chin said. “Last year, we came in second place at states, and our primary goal is to avenge our defeat.”