Getting Other Schools to Join Quiz Bowl

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Getting Other Schools to Join Quiz Bowl

Post by Ohyeah19 »

Hey, I'm Justin Zhang and I'm from the state of Washington.

Washington is pretty well known for its lack of Quiz Bowl and its entrenchment in Knowledge Bowl, which operates both regional competitions in the ESD's and a state-wide competition.

Many schools in my area don't have a Quiz Bowl club; some don't even have a Knowledge Bowl club. I've been trying to get other schools to start Quiz Bowl clubs and teams. So far, I have been doing this by asking my friends in those schools to help start the club (since only students of the school can start a club). I doubt this method is highly effective as I have been getting a lot of "I'm busy with other clubs and activities" replies. But there are many schools in the region that I don't have any friends in, so I am not sure what to do to bring Quiz Bowl to those schools.

Does anyone have advice on how I should expand Quiz Bowl to schools I have no connection with and how to make my current efforts more effective?

Thank you guys very much!
Justin Zhang
Newport HS '20
President of Newport's Knowledge Bowl Club
Hoping to expand Quiz Bowl in WA

Joshua Rutsky
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Location: Hoover, AL

Re: Getting Other Schools to Join Quiz Bowl

Post by Joshua Rutsky »

If you do some poking around here on this site, you'll find that this is a question many of us have tried to grapple with over the years. Alas, there is no simple answer.

Your basic problem is that you have motivation, but you don't have contacts at other schools or other teams to work with. The question is how to solve that issue. One way to start this is to consider trying to gain exposure for quiz bowl in your area. For example, if you have a club at your high school, could you start clubs at the feeder middle schools that lead to your high school? Another possibility is if you have a rivalry with a nearby school. When such rivalries exist, "game weeks" when the two schools clash draw a lot of attention. Why not get your SGA to try to set up a "battle of the brains" quiz bowl match between the two schools as part of that week? Charge a dollar a person for admission, and the winning team gets to pick the charity that receives all proceeds. This gains you a new pool of prospective players, and the chance someone over there wants to start a club as well.

Beyond that, you can try to "piggyback" off of existing events that are similar to quizbowl. In Alabama, we have Beta Club, We The People, and language conventions, each of which have some sort of vaguely quiz bowl connected events. There's also the Geography and History Bowls and Science Bowls that many schools participate in. Get involved with some of these programs, or find someone who is involved with them, and talk to them about holding a QB tournament as an organizational fundraiser. Sure, it isn't exactly what they are used to, but "team trivia" things are more popular than ever, and as you have learned, a lot of folks just think it is FUN to play this game.

You obviously are going to be trying to climb a mountain here, and probably without gear or a guide. You can't form a state QB association without more interested parties. Since Washington does have Knowledge Bowl, your best bet is probably using that as a starting point to introduce the state to your preferred style of quiz bowl. That organization isn't going to change overnight, and it isn't going to jump at the opportunity to do things differently. If you can set up an event, however, and you can convince some of the knowledge bowl teams in your area that playing at that event will be beneficial to them AND fun, you can gain a foothold. Then it becomes all about patience and persistence.

Good luck to you, and thanks for trying to help #GrowtheGame!
Joshua Rutsky
President, Alabama Scholastic Competition Association
Hoover HS Coach, 2007-2019
Member of the Qwiz Team!

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Re: Getting Other Schools to Join Quiz Bowl

Post by Dominator »

Hey Justin - Thanks for taking on this initiative.

Starting a new team takes a lot of effort, especially when there aren't many tournaments around to play. Perhaps you'd have an easier time if you could hook some players from other teams with some actual gameplay. I've got a company called Qblitz that is putting on an online tournament later this month. I'll email you to see if we can get some Washingtonian students signed up at a special outreach rate.

Good luck!
Dr. Noah Prince

Normal Community High School (2002)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004, 2007, 2008)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy - Scholastic Bowl coach (2009-2014), assistant coach (2014-2015), well wisher (2015-2016)
guy in San Diego (2016-present)
President of Qblitz (2018-present)


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Re: Getting Other Schools to Join Quiz Bowl

Post by vathreya »

Hey Justin,

I’d be more than happy to get in touch with you about expanding the scope of quiz bowl in Washington, especially the Seattle area, and this has been something on my mind as well ever since I joined UW. I believe that a lot of schools, especially on the East Side (Bellevue and Redmond) would be interested in quiz bowl, and if you’d like any advice regarding outreach, hosting, convincing school administrations that quiz bowl is worthwhile or providing guidance to students whose administrations aren’t supportive, I’d be more than happy to help.
Vikshar Athreya

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