School Life Student Culture

2022 International History Bee and Bowl: A Tournament Review

“It’s very quizzical.” - Ray (‘24)

By Emma Aranda, ’24

For the first time in nearly 2 years, the WPGA Quiz Club competed in an in-person quiz tournament. Bright and early at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 9th, the halls of WPGA were filled with over 15 teams of students from grades 6-12 hoping to qualify for Nationals in Ottawa, which will take place in May later this year. 

The tournament was the International History Bee and Bowl (IHBB), which were played in 5 rounds with 4 quarters each. All the questions were answered via buzzer, with topics ranging from military history, science, art, philosophy, religion, language, geography, politics, and even sports and entertainment. The time periods referred to can be from ancient civilizations to as recently as 2021. The Bowl is played with a team and the Bee is individual. With very specific answers, niche topics require exact answers, which can be difficult to come by. 

Student volunteers scorekept and timed the rounds, and some WPGA alumni even came to read questions. This was the first IHBB tournament since 2018, and everyone was feeling nostalgic, especially the seniors who founded the Quiz Club in their Grade 8 year. Their last in-person tournament would have been Nationals in Ottawa in Grade 9. 

Even with delays in the schedule, everyone enjoyed the environment created at the tournament. 

“What a great treat it was to have alumni come back to read for this tournament and have a social aspect that we haven’t been able to have for over two years. Also, the ‘22 seniors started quiz club back in their grade 8 year, so it’s really nice that they’re able to have their last quiz tournament face-to-face,” says Mr. Bendl, Quiz Club teacher sponsor. 

Despite the pandemic moving all games onto Zoom for the past few years, the Senior Team remained positive as they won all their games. Alden (‘22), one of the original founding members said, “It certainly feels good to see the team’s knowledge grow despite the changing circumstances. Through COVID, it feels like time was stagnant, but it’s great to see that our knowledge was improving and we’re doing better than before.”

For the recently-created JV Team, this was their first-ever in-person tournament, and first IHBB competition. “IHBB is a lot harder than SchoolReach. Honestly, I think the longer format of questions is sometimes helpful, but usually, you really don’t know what the answer is until the last sentence, whereas for SchoolReach, you either know it or you don’t.” Anderson (‘24), a long-time Quiz Club member, reflects on the competition. “Other than that, it’s been fun. I love it.”

While adjusting to the new competition switch, the JV team enjoyed their time regardless, filling up the delayed time by pranking the Saints team, playing the same one-man team 3 rounds in a row, and winning a point off the classic Margaret Atwood question that no competition would be complete without. 

Student volunteers gained some insight into the competitive world of quiz and laughed along with teammates over flubbed answers. Olivia (‘24), stayed until the day ended at 6:20 pm, and confessed that she learned a lot about these tournaments. “Everyone seems really dedicated to what they do here… I think it’s really impressive how people can retain information and recall it from a simple prompt.”

‘Dedicated’ is certainly one word that can be used to describe the intense passion of members of the WPGA Quiz Club, as Callum (‘24), simply stated “Sometimes death is better,” after an epic loss. 

The camaraderie of the team celebrated each win, all of which greatly outweighed the single loss of the JV Team. Ava (‘24), a founding member of the JV team, was excited to have her first-ever tournament, especially with such success. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, so it’s exciting that we’re finally here and able to do this. Every time we see someone get a question right, we can see all our lunchtime practices paying off and we’re doing our best. It’s been a lot of fun. I’m really glad we were able to do this together as a team.”

The WPGA Senior and JV Quiz Teams had a great day as they both qualified for Nationals in the Bowl, and had a very successful run in the Bee as well. Congratulations to our individual Nationals qualifiers: Calvin (’24) placed second in the JV Bee, and Logan (’22), Alden (’22), and Bill (’22) placed first, second, and third respectively in the Varsity Bee. Geography Bee Nationals qualifiers are Anderson and Ray (‘24), and Logan and Kyle (‘22).

Congratulations to the WPGA Quiz Club!

Varsity: Logan, Alden, Bill, Julia, Kai, and Kyle (‘22)

JV: Calvin, Ava, Anderson, Emma, Ray, and Callum (‘24)

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