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The Rock Report: What is...Scholar Bowl

January 29, 2014
New Haven High School


     Almost every student at NHHS has attended a softball, basketball, or volleyball game.  But what about other activities, such as scholar bowl?  Probably few have ever seen a scholar bowl tournament or realize that we have a very successful scholar bowl team.  When hearing about scholar bowl, many would picture a bunch of very serious, intelligent students sitting in a quiet room.  This isn’t all that true.  We laugh, we joke, and we occasionally high-five.  After Sectionals last season, the team went out for frozen yogurt.  Nevertheless, those in scholar bowl can take it very seriously.  And when the game is on the line, a well-trained member can be as competitive as any basketball or volleyball player, with the same quick reflexes and mental toughness.

     Believe it or not, there is a MSHSAA handbook dictating the rules of scholar bowl, which are fairly simple and easy to learn.  A game is usually played by two teams of four players using a buzzer system.  A moderator reads questions to the teams, and players try to be the first to correctly answer the questions.  If a player on one team answers incorrectly, the other team is given the opportunity to answer.  The questions can be about anything, from history to science to math to sports.  Occasionally, there will be questions about movies or video games.

     There are two types of scholar bowl questions: toss-ups, which are described above, and bonus questions.  At certain points in the game, a team that correctly answers a toss-up gets the opportunity to answer a bonus.  Teammates can discuss bonuses, and the team captain gives the answer.  Like toss-ups, if the first team answers incorrectly, the other team can answer the question.  All questions are worth ten points.  Similar to basketball, there are time-outs, substitutions, and half-times; and tournaments have brackets.  Some rules vary by tournament.  

     Tournaments usually take place on Saturdays and start around 8 a.m, so the bus leaves for them early in the morning.  Once at a tournament, teams draw for spots in the bracket and begin to compete.  At a typical tournament, pool play takes place in the morning, and the final bracket games are played after lunch.  Winning teams are awarded plaques, and top-scoring individuals also earn medals.  

     Here at NHHS, we have a JV and a Varsity team. Mr. Pruessner coaches both teams, and he holds a team practice once a week after school.  At practice, teammates might scrimmage or research frequently-asked questions.  Our scholar bowl teams have had great success; in the past two years, the JV team has won two conference plaques and had two individuals place in the conference top-ten.  Last year, the varsity team not only won conference, but also won the District plaque and advanced to sectionals.  Last month, the varsity team took third at the Orchard Farm Tournament, with captain Graden Lovelace placing sixth individually.

     We wish our scholar bowl teams good luck this season!

--by Hannah Kruse

*If you have an activity you would like us to write about, contact Mrs. Schwab.

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