Improved Quiz Bowl team seeks to do well at postponed competitions

November 27, 2018 — by Jeffrey Xu

Quiz bowl prepares for upcoming national level competitions

Junior Jeffrey Ma concentrated as he listened to the reader ask a question regarding Spanish painter Velazquez’s heavy use of the chiaroscuro technique in his artwork. Ma quickly buzzed, answering with the correct answer of the “Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” and earning his team another 10 points at the recent Cal Cup 1 Quiz Bowl tournament held at St. Francis High School on Oct. 27.

In the end, Ma, along with the rest of the A team, placed second overall and the B team placed 9th overall in the competitive division, which had a total of 19 teams. The C team placed 19th out of the total 25 teams in the standard division.

For the harder college level ACF Fall tournament on Nov. 4, the school’s A team placed first in the high school competitive group.

Senior captain Kiran Rachamallu said that the Cal Cup 1 tournament was a success, despite many team member absences.

Rachamallu said that the complete A team only lost once by 10 points in the prelims to Mission San Jose, but lost by slightly more in the final. The rest of the teams were not complete, as several key members had scheduling conflicts, but they still performed well.

Junior Shivam Mani also said that many competitive team members have improved their knowledge in their focus fields, particularly Ma and junior Brandon Wang, who specialize in fine arts and literature, respectively, as part of the A team.

Ma recently attended a program named Summer at Brown University back in July, taught by art history lecturer Kathy Quick, Ph.D. He said he gained a lot of knowledge on the history of photographic arts and contemporary art.

Ma said that Quick’s class has given him a leg up on fine arts questions, and found that his new knowledge improved his accuracy in answering Quiz Bowl questions.

The members of the Quiz Bowl team were also anticipating the Cal Cup 2 competition on Nov. 17, but due to poor air quality, Bellarmine College Prep was unable to host the event, and the competition has been postponed until January.

In preparation for upcoming competitions, Mani said that the competitive A and B teams need to work on improving their coverage in science, myth and religion, as those are the weakest areas of knowledge for both team overall.

Mani also hosts novice practices on Mondays during lunch, meant to help newer players on the C teams and under ramp up their knowledge and answering speed.

“The Monday practices are going well; a good amount of people show up consistently and participate,” Mani said. “Some are showing a lot of dedication and commitment to the club and really want to improve, which they have.”

Ma said that at Cal Cup 2, the team is looking to qualify two competitive teams for the High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT), one of two national level competitions.

“Beyond placing high, we are looking to get more practice on higher difficulty question sets to prepare for nationals,” Ma said.

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