Students face off in History Bowl finals


Oliver Konopko, Staff Writer

Two teams of students competed in the History Bowl finals this Monday, racing to answer questions on topics ranging from ancient Rome to constitutional amendments. The Bowl began on April 13th, and after several rounds, only two of the original 11 teams remained this week.

The members of Team 4 were Avi Rao (12), Ayaan de Silva (12), Steve Yang (12), and Aidan Shah (12). They faced Team 7 with James Zaidman (10), Aaron Yang (10), Emma Chang (10), Abigael Singer (10), and Michael Ji (9). 

Going into the finals, Zaidman knew the competition wasn’t going to be easy. “Everyone on the other team is known for being very intelligent, and they’ve taken four years of history at HM, so we knew this was going to be an uphill battle,” Zaidman said.

Although Team 4 was more experienced, they still approached the competition with all efforts, Steve Yang said. “In my Cold War class, we always talk before we get started, so I’d heard they were a really strong team and that they were going to be a challenge.”

To prepare, Zaidman played Protobowl, an online quiz bowl site. However, Protobowl is not a perfect study method. “On the website, you can reread the question over and over again, but during the competition, you only hear the question once,” Zaidman said. “It’s a lot of pressure to be processing what you’re hearing, trying to figure out the answer, and doing it faster than someone else.”

After each question, the participants were either frustrated when they missed questions or celebrated after a right answer. For example, after each question Steve Yang answered correctly, he would yell, “Siuuuuu!” a habit he picked up as he became a soccer fan, he said.

In the end, Team 4 won by 40 points, or four questions. “I went in not expecting to win, so I was pleasantly surprised by how we did,” Chang said. “But I was upset because there were six 50/50 questions, and we got almost all of them wrong.”

Lawson Wright (12) created the History Bowl as a way for students to enjoy history as a subject without the pressure of the class. “I think this competition epitomizes my goal very well, and I’m really happy that people not only signed up and participated but had a fun time doing so,” Wright said. “I hope the competition will continue next year, and more people will continue to participate.”