History buffs dominate Quiz Bowl competition


Rena Salsberg and Nora Wildman

The History club and club president Lawson Wright (11) hosted the History Bowl finals on Thursday. The History Bowl includes trivia questions about history, Justin Gurvitch (12) said. 

The History Bowl began with about 35 students divided among eight teams, Wright said. During the event, teams were eliminated leaving ten people divided into two teams for the finals. The two final teams started as one team that broke into two. The two final teams were the Bombastic Festivals 2, led by Ryan Finlay (12) and the Bombastic Festivals, led by Thomas Grant (12). 

In the prelims, each round contained 15 questions, worth 10 points each, Wright said. If a contestant got the question wrong they were not penalized. 

Dr. DeMaio found that the questions were difficult and was impressed by how many of them the students answered correctly, she said. 

Participants could buzz in as long as the host had begun reading the question, Wright said. “Not only are you trying to answer the question, but you are trying to answer the question with the least amount of information given.”

While players could buzz in at any point while the question was being read, teams could only discuss their answer if it had been read fully. Non-verbal gesturing was allowed and each five person team had one buzzer. 

During the History bowl people got so excited when a question was answered right that their excitement caused heads to turn in the hallways, Wright said.

To prepare, the club had to find spaces and hosts, as well as create questions and a rulebook for each round of the competition, Wright said. “The questions used are pulled from multiple different resources and then adapted to match something that our students would reasonably know and have appropriate difficulty.” 

All members of the community were invited to participate in the competition, Wright said. Participants could register as a team, or elect to be randomly assigned to one, he said.  

Although Gurvitch and his friends have not gotten a chance to attend the history club meetings, they were excited to participate in the History Bowl and decided to join the competition, he said. “We thought that it could be a fun way to spend some time together before the end of the year,” he said. 

Rohan Buluswar (12) is also not a member of the history club, but his friend, Ryan Finley (12) asked if non-club members could participate, as many were excited by the competition, Buluswar said. “It ended up being 12 of us who said yes to my friend’s offer, so we partitioned into three teams, and two of those three teams are going to play against each other in the finals,” he said. 

Darson Chen (11) enjoyed that every time a question was asked, Leonardo Giorgini (12) would immediately press the buzzer and get the question right within seconds, he said. “We all just roared so loud that the entire library could hear us,” Chen said. “It’s more fun than competition, and there is an insane amount of hype.”

Giorgini participated in the event because it seemed like a fun opportunity to be able to share his knowledge with his friends, he said. “It seemed fun to do it with friends and be able to see our success compared to the success of other teams.”

Wright hopes that the History Bowl will be even larger next year, he said. “This year planted the seed for a lot of people so that next year the competition can grow even larger,” Wright said. “I not only hope that people get some fun out of this event, but I also hope that students recognize just how much history that they actually know.”