Academic Bowl


Mr. Black and Ms. Livelsberger, the two academic bowl leaders, are standing together to take a photo. Photo taken by: Andrea Abney

Andrea Abney, Staff Writer

        Mr. Black is an outstanding history teacher with twenty years of teaching experience. He has been teaching in this county for sixteen years. He teaches AP history, and is part of the board of supervisors for Caroline County. Mr. Black is also one of the directors for Spotsylvania High School’s Academic Bowl team. Mr. Black’s point of view of the academic bowl as being like Jeopardy in a way. The reason that he got involved with the Academic Bowl is because he likes trivia in general and he also enjoys the scrimmage that the students go against the teachers. He feels that the scrimmage against the teachers brings more competition into the students.

      The Spotsylvania High School Academic Bowl team usually consists of six to eight kids. Mr. Black and the eight kids go over questions that were used from previous years and practice a couple times in the week to also help them prepare for their competitions. Mr. Black and the former director Mrs. Robinson have been working together for twelve years. After Mrs. Robinson retired, Mr.Black’s new assistant director for the Academic Bowl is Mrs. Livelsberger. Mr. Black has been involved with the Academic Bowl for fourteen years. Mr. Black’s first opinion about the academic bowl is “I felt curious on how it worked”. The Spotsylvania High School Academic Bowl has won the district championships approximately two or three times and even won fifth when they went to regionals. He likes to see the kids compete with other schools.

       The Academic Bowl is a single day quiz competition that consists of consists of two teams of kids from different schools are that get tested on their knowledge on all subjects. The match time for the quiz bowl is measured by a game clock or depending on how many questions are in the packet. A moderator, which is the person that asks the questions, quizzes the teams on two types of questions: toss-up questions and bonus questions. A toss-up question is a question that an individual player from the team can answer to score points, but the teammate that is answering the question cannot consult their teammates for any help. The teammate that is ready to answer the question singles the moderator with a buzzer. Answering a toss-up question correctly earns the team 10 points. If you answer a toss-up question incorrectly it is called negging. No one on your team can attempt to give the correct answer. It could also lead to a penalty for your team and cause your team to lose points. If your team neggs, then the question that your team was asked will go to the opposing team. Once your team neggs once, you can no longer receive penalties if your team answers a question incorrectly.

     There are two types of toss-up questions: buzzer beaters and pyramid toss-ups. A buzzer beater is a short question to test the player on quickly recalling questions. A pyramid toss-up is a question that include multiple clues that lead to more helpful clues to answering the question. The clues start off from being harder to easier questions. A pyramid-style toss-up is common to college academic bowls.

     Bonus questions are questions that a team can answer if they answer a toss-up question correctly. When answering a bonus question, you may consult your teammates to help you with the question. If you answer a bonus question correctly, you earn thirty points. Bonus questions can also have alternative questions that go along with them that are worth ten points each.

       The Spotsylvania Academic Bowl team hope to go to states in 2017 like they have achieved in the previous years. Mr. Black and Mrs. Livelsberger look forward to having fun, helping students, and working hard to represent Spotsylvania High by giving their all.