Wesleyan caters to its audience in the aspect of extracurricular activities, and with the new addition of the History Bowl, its résumé is only growing.
With its focus on historical questions, History Bowl is a year-long, nation-wide, inter-school league with competitions all throughout the schoolyear. The first competition was in November, but three more will take place over the next six months: a regular competition in January, state in March and nationals in April.
The Wesleyan team, led by Ted Russell, was able to attend the November competition. Despite being its first year participating in History Bowl, the school performed very well. Junior Jack Lambert said, “We had quarterfinal and semifinal Varsity finishes and JV won the whole tournament.”
Competitions themselves are composed of five matches, each match having four quarters. The first quarter is general questions about history; however, the questions can range anywhere from the beginning of time to contemporary times, and can be in regards to the world, United States, pop culture, etc. In this quarter, each correct answer is worth ten points.
In the second quarter, a correct answer is rewarded with a bonus question, which is also ten points. Quarter Three contains questions of higher difficulty, each still being worth ten points.
In the final quarter, the sooner a question is answered, the more points it is worth. Questions are worth either thirty, twenty, or ten points, depending on the speed at which the question is answered.
The team answering the question is determined by whichever team buzzes in the quickest. The idea is to buzz in the fastest in order to receive points for answering the question, but wrong answers result in the entire question being read, more clues being given, and the answer gradually becoming more obvious, all the while the question’s value remains the same.
As this whole process is done five times in one day, Russell said, “The brain is worn out by the time you are done.”
Wesleyan was extremely successful in its first History Bowl competition. However, this will most likely be its only competition for this year, as nationals are in Virginia and Washington D.C. and will take place the week before AP exams.
Practices are during lunch every Monday in Academic Bowl sponsor, Matt Crew’s, office. Crew has buzzers that the team is able to practice with in order to learn proper etiquette for competitions. Russell said, “The etiquette is just as important as the history because points can be lost for improper technique.”
When asked about her experience on the History Bowl Team, junior Olivia Frye said, “My favorite part is just being able to be a total geek and not be embarrassed about it.”
Perhaps the most appreciated aspect of the team was the team members. Junior Grayson Ragsdale said, “My favorite part of being on the team is the people. We’ve only been to one ‘competition,’ but the Varsity History Bowl team is mainly juniors, and we are all friends.”
In regards to joining the team, Lambert said, “The team is filled with a lot of great people, and our practices and competitions are a lot of fun, so don’t hesitate to come out and join the team!”