Trivia team buzzes to victory

Hunched over the buzzer, four hands hovered, ready to slam down. The anticipation, so palpable it could be cut with a knife, would be over as soon as the officiary read the question. The Academic Competition team was ready to win.  

The team won both of their previous competitions this month, and were ready to take the championship. After playing three games, they took home the win for Newbury Park.

Meeting in history teacher Steve Johnson’s room, the Academic Competition team participates in information-based tournaments throughout the school year, leading to the main competition, the Knowledge Bowl, having recently taken place in March. Nina Perl, junior, and candidate for captain of the team next year, gave the basics of what this competition is.

“It is three Wednesdays in March, and we pick teams of four to go on panels, like Jeopardy. . . they read us questions and then we buzz in and whoever answers it right gets those points,” Perl said. “It’s really fun.”

Shiv Sompura, senior, explained that the individual matches had three to four games of two to 12 rounds. During the games, at various high schools in Ventura County, an administrator would first ask what Sompura called a “toss up question,” and the first person to buzz in had 10 seconds to answer it.

“If they missed it the question would go to whoever buzzed in on the other team,” Sompura said. “If someone got it right a bonus question would be given and the panel of four could discuss and come up with an answer within 20 seconds.”

The team competes in two different competitions, the Geo Bowl and the Knowledge Bowl. Ziv Carmi, sophomore, explains how he prepares before a competition.

”For the Geo Bowl, I have these books left over from when I made the State Geography Bee in seventh grade, and I use those as my main source,” Carmi said. “I supplement those with the daily quizzes on the National Geography Bee website.”

As a much more unpredictable competition, Carmi says the Knowledge Bowl tests the teams on “literally anything under the sun.”

Agreeing with Carmi, Conrad Jones, senior, gave examples of the types of questions asked during games.

“Anything goes. One question could be a math, physics, or electricity question, where you have a paper and pencil to write it out. The next question could be history, geography; there was a Spongebob question one time,” Jones said.

However, despite the random questions, Perl says anyone can join, and that the club is for everyone.

“Everybody knows something,” Perl said.  “Even if you don’t think you have any specialties, you could know random things.”

Outside of competitions the club embodies not only sportsmanship, but also friendship, as told by Sompura, “My favorite part about being on the team was actually just being with my friends…  It was all around just a way more relaxed and good time than I thought going into it.“  

When looking back on the competition season, Carmi voiced his fondness of the team, “It’s my niche. I’m a nerd, and that’s what I’m good at, and with such great teammates, how could this not be the best part of my year?”

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