Quiz Bowl

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Quiz Bowl is a trivia tournament held every year at CTY Lancaster and, as of late, Carlisle (although the discrepancies between the two are great enough that they are decidedly not the same thing). At Lancaster, it is essentially the same thing as the College Bowl, a rather common high school competitive event which goes by various names depending on locality. At Carlisle, it is an incredibly competitive event that is typically compared to Jeopardy!, with people competing on an individual basis. This is a place to show your die-hard nerdiness and trivia skillz. It is also known as the Quizbizzle Tournamizzle.

How it works


Quiz Bowl is a tournament involving teams of 4-7. Two teams compete at a time with only 4 team members in the game at any one moment. An RA reads questions, and one member of the team may buzz in to answer. Teams are not allowed to discuss the answer and once a team has answered, whether right or wrong, it may not buzz in again. Buzzing is usually either clapping or slapping something. Questions range on every topic in science, math, history, religion, grammar, technology etc. They are taken from past College Bowl Games. Quiz Bowl usually lasts three days during activity periods and the winner goes on to face the RAs and TAs (in 07.1, RAs and TAs had separate teams) at either Mandatory Fun or Quad Time.

It should be noted that Quiz Bowl is a great place to be proud of your nerdery if competing, or to watch in amazement the nerdery of others. Many people enjoy watching friends or listening to questions and silently answering them for their own merit. During his Lancaster tenure, Adam Roush would often proctor a few of the games and discuss his knowledge of random things with the audience. It is oodles of fun.


Unlike Lancaster, Quiz Bowl is a mandatory activity for all CTYers at Carlisle, and could be considered Mandatory Fun. The topics of questions are quite broad, although there tends to be a focus on history and science. Sometime during the first weekend, typically after Hall Bondage, the preliminary round of Quiz Bowl begins in the form of a written evaluation of about 20 questions. This is done in silence in one's hall, and after a certain period of time the evaluations are collected by the RA. In 10.1, one of the questions asked for a legendary bird that was the god of lightning, prompting many to answer the Pokemon Zapdos (the correct answer was Quetzalcoatl).

The two highest-scorers in the hall advance to the next round, which immediately follows the written portion, where the highest-scoring students from 3 to 5 halls compete.In this round, questions are actually asked to competitors and buzzing in (typically clapping in some manner) is required to answer a question. After a certain period of time, the two highest scoring individuals from that round are decided upon and those two advance to the semi-final round.

The semi-finals are held a week later, either immediately before or after the Talent Show (in 09.2 it was before, in 10.2 it was after). Watching Quiz Bowl is mandatory. First, all of the female semi-finalists compete for points (like in the previous round), and once again the two highest-scoring competitors advance to the next round. The males follow suit. The last round, consisting of the four finalists, is run in the exact same manner as the two rounds that proceeded it. The victor of Quiz Bowl will win a prize (usually an assortment of candy).

In 10.1, Willie Plowe emerged to claim the prize of the trophy of candy bars. Highlights included contestant Claire Tang basically having no idea what she was doing, answering questions with random answers like "Jesus" or buzzing in, realizing she didn't actually know the answer, and answering "LOL JK", a phrase that had risen to a cult status that session.

It should be noted that, since Quiz Bowl is fairly new at Carlisle, the way it is carried out seems to vary year-to-year. In 09.2, for example, the final round was much akin to Jeopardy, wherein the finalist who correctly answered the previous question was allowed to pick from a series of categories (history, pop culture, technology, etc.), and a question from that category was asked. The round ended when all of the categories were exhausted, and points were deducted for incorrect answers. In 10.2, the 'category' system was done away with and incorrect answers did not result in penalties (although you could not attempt to answer the question again), making competitors more likely to make wild guesses or give ridiculous answers. An example of this would be:

  • Proctor: What is believed to be the strongest thing in the human body?
  • Contestant #1: Chuck Norris?
  • Proctor: That is incorrect.


  • Proctor: Brazil is the world's largest exporter of which precious gems?
  • Contestant #1: Diamonds?
  • Proctor: That is incorrect.
  • Contestant #2: Rubies?
  • Proctor: That is incorrect.
  • Contestant #3: Jade?
  • Proctor: That is incorrect.
  • Contestant #4 (clearly has no idea, but after a few seconds half-heartedly buzzes in): Emeralds?
  • Proctor: That is...correct.
  • Audience: *riotous laughter/applause*

It is generally agreed that this made the proceedings more entertaining.