Quiz bowl teams face tough competition


Blake Becker

Senior Dima Rozenblat is ready to answer questions alongside his fellow teammates. The RBHS Quiz Bowl A team won that match 400-30.
The RBHS Quiz Bowl team competed at the Tiger Bowl meet in Columbia, MO. Saturday, Dec. 1, going up against rival Hickman High School and other high school quiz bowl teams across the state.
Some of RBHS’ Quiz Bowl players were unable to attend the Tiger Bowl because All-State band auditions interfered with the day of the tournament and forced several students to forgo the competition. Members said their limited numbers impeded the teams’ efficiency and organization. To worsen the situation, the Tiger Bowl featured many high-ranking high school teams, making for stiff competition, social studies teacher Greg Irwin said.
“Our goal is always that our top team or two will be able to, or be close to, making the play-offs,” Irwin said. “But this tournament had probably 10 of the top 12 or 13 teams in the state, so it was as competitive as it gets.”
The Bruins come off the 2011-2012 season when three teams went to nationals, and the A team plans to do the same this year. Players are put into four teams with each team designating specific players to study certain areas of information such as literature, history, fine arts, science and social sciences, so the team can maximize their chances of answering questions correctly.
“We usually study different material,” senior Dima Rozenblat said, “so that we’re not overlapping the same subjects.”
With teams dependent on each individual’s knowledge of their category for the group’s success, players must study long and hard on their own and in group study. They receive help from Irwin.
“What they kind of do is help us organize how we’re going to learn and then give packets of questions during practice for us to learn the material, but a lot of the preparation we do on our own,” Rozenblat said. “Tiger Bowl wasn’t really our biggest competition since it was so early, but I’ve started studying a bit more, and I’ve tried putting in at least an hour to half an hour a day, but I know some people who study a lot more and go up to two or three hours a day.”
From this meet, Irwin said the Bruins discovered some areas they need to improve upon.
“The emphasis is we need to work a little harder to catch up with [the other teams]. The last three or four years we’ve been able to beat Hickman pretty well, but now not even just their first team, but their second team is arguably as good as our A team, so we have to continue to improve, so I just use that as a motivator,” Irwin said. “I want us to have the best team we can which means [students] have to master the information they specialize in at a really high level, so certainly the goal is learning to be a well-rounded scholar.”
By Blake Becker