The WHS Quiz Bowl team is back with renewed energy after a drop in participation in past years as a wave of new students are drawn to trivia. The team consists of over a dozen students, many of which compete in four-person teams against other schools in competitions.
Math teacher Alison Langsdorf, who is in her ninth year coaching the team, commented on the structure of the competitions that the team attends.
“The Quiz Bowl is effectively a high school trivia competition format. It looks a little bit like the game show Jeopardy, except that it’s a team game,” Langsdorf said.
While the Quiz Bowl team has been small in numbers for a couple of years, this season the team has experienced an increase in members as student interest in trivia has risen.
“Three years ago, eight seniors graduated and we’ve had a couple of years when our numbers have been smaller,” Langsdorf said. “We haven’t done as much competition just because people had other things that they wanted to do, but this year we’re back, better, and stronger.”
This year, many team members have taken the opportunity to travel to other schools to try their hand at scored trivia competitions. At the most recent tournament, nine students attended on two teams. One such student is sophomore Daanish Qureshi, a first-year Quiz Bowl team member who said that his favorite part of being on the team is going to these tournaments.
“I’ve only been to one tournament, but we had a blast last time we went. I wasn’t on varsity, but I was on JV, so it wasn’t too intense. We won most of our matches and we were doing well and having fun,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi described the structure of a typical meeting during which the team prepares for tournaments.
“We meet once a week on Fridays after school. We gather around in a circle and Ms. Langsdorf asks questions from old Quiz Bowl tournaments, and if we know the answer we buzz in,” Qureshi said.
Sophomore Shraddha Lulla has been a Quiz Bowl team member for two years. She said that she joined the club with the goal of learning more about both history and current events.
“I joined to enjoy it and to become a little more knowledgeable on things happening in the world or in history,” Lulla said. “There’s a lot of current events and there’s a lot of art, literature and some movies.”
In addition to allowing a place to further education, the ever-changing body of students also allows members to cultivate friendships across all four grades. Senior Lukas Muzila, an active member of the Quiz Bowl team for four years, said that he enjoys how the dynamics of the team change from year to year.
“It’s been cool that I’ve been able to be with a bunch of different people starting freshman year and having to look up to seniors. This year, I’m the only senior and it’s been great to have a lot of new freshmen,” Muzila said.
Even though the Quiz Bowl team started practicing in the fall, Langsdorf said that it is never too late to become a member, as practices are not necessary to be competitive.
“What makes them good at knowing lots of stuff is not what they do in that room for half an hour a week,” Langsdorf said. “It’s being out and being interesting people and having experiences.”
Not only does the team offer a chance to learn new knowledge, the relaxed atmosphere has been welcoming for newcomers as well, according to junior Robert Mosher.
“I really like how everyone pushes each other to do better. Nobody’s trying to take anyone else down to be the best, and everybody is welcome. It’s not just Ms. Langsdorf who makes sure that’s the case, the other students do as well,” Mosher said.
The Quiz Bowl team is always welcoming to new members. Practices are held in room 14 on Fridays from 3:15 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.