With a higher sectional qualifying score than Yale, Harvard, Columbia and MIT, the College of Arts & Sciences-led Quiz Bowl team will compete in the 2016 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament in Chicago April 8.
Supported and led by A&S Advising, the 16-member UofL quiz bowl team represents departments across the college – from history and English to mathematics, chemistry, and urban & public affairs. It also includes five students from the J.B. Speed School and one student from the College of Business. The team is divided into divisions I and II, and is coached by A&S Advisers Matt Church and Eddie Bobbitt.
The division I team, which earned first place in the Southeast Sectional qualifying them for the national tournament, is made up of Nick Conder (PhD, Urban & Public Affairs), Megan Seldon (BA, English), Kurtis Droge (MBA), and Ramapriya Rangaraju (MS, Computer Engineering & Computer Science). The team is ranked No. 9 nationally behind Stanford.
The division II team ranked second in the Southeast Sectional, ahead of Vanderbilt University and Western Kentucky University, and is on a waitlist to compete in the championship.
Quiz Bowl features two teams competing head-to-head to answer questions from a variety of categories, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, sports, and popular culture. Players practice against each other on campus and then represent UofL in teams from one to four players at varsity tournaments.
Coach Matt Church played quiz bowl in high school and practiced with UofL’s team while he was getting an MA in history and an MA in higher education. Acting as coach since 2009, Church is incredibly superstitious and left a match this year after three questions because he, and the team, considered him bad luck for that round.
Freshman Lance Gibson (English & Mathematics) has been participating on quiz bowl teams for nine years, through elementary, middle, and high school. Gibson said quiz bowl is an integral part of who he is and that he would never abandon the competition.
“Every tiny piece of information we collect gives us a broader perspective and deeper insight in both natural and societal contexts,” he said. “While many others keep learning inside the classroom, we take it beyond.”