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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

History Bowl holds annual tryouts

What emperor moved the capital city to Beijing, built the Forbidden City, and sent the fleets of Zheng He?

Questions like this are a big reason that those trying out for the History Bowl team had an average score of 38 percent on the written part of the test. (The answer: “Yongle Emperor.”)

There are two parts to qualifying for History Bowl: the written portion and the buzzer round.

During tutorial on Oct. 1, 44 students crammed into history teacher Jerry Sheehy’s room to complete the written portion of History Bowl tryouts.

“The questions were very difficult,” sophomore Andrew Owens said. “I got the third highest score [out of the JV team], but it was 52 percent.”

The following Wednesday, 36 of the students who scored high enough returned for the next round of qualification, which consisted of buzzer-style testing. The students were split into two groups: those trying out for varsity and those trying out for JV.

This year, there will be an additional JV team. Co-captains Bruce Lou and Ethan Ngai made this decision in an effort to increase the number of varsity members in the future.

Returning member senior Helen Wong said the addition of another JV team would be positive, despite the concern that it would decrease the overall camaraderie of the team.

“It will give the whole team a better chance of both wrecking other schools and making it to Nationals,” Wong said.

One of the most appealing aspects of the History Bowl team is their closeness, according to senior Nitya Sampath, another returning member.

We’ve been competing together for two years, so we all know each other well,” said Sampath. “They’re all fun people to be around. Someone is always making some silly history jokes during practice.”

Others, such as Owens, who is new to History Bowl, were interested because of the combination of history and competition.

“History is what I’m best at, and competing will test that knowledge and push me to learn more,” Owens said.

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