CHS Knowledge Bowl teams bring a lot of brain power to the table
The young, and knowledge-filled Crookston Knowledge Bowl Team gives a peek into how a meet works and more…
The Crookston Knowledge Bowl team consists of 12 high schoolers coached by English teacher, Kristin Alston.
A typical Knowledge Bowl meet consists of anywhere from 20 to 42 teams. When they arrive at a meet, each team of five sits down together and takes a 60-question written test which they have 50 minutes to take. The teams of five splits up the packet of papers and passes them around to do individually before they talk it over as a team. After submitting the written tests, they’re corrected to decide the placement of each team.
Groups of three teams are split up into separate rooms based on the place they are in. A point is given for each question that is answered correctly. The three teams that scored the highest will be in a room together, the following three will be in a room together, and so on. Crookston usually brings two teams, the Blue and Gold teams, each with five participants.
“Sometimes we will end up in the same room as the other Crookston team,” says sophomore Anna Huck.
When the teams are split into their rooms to begin the first of four vocal rounds, one teammate will sit out. Each team of four has their own table with a buzzer in the middle. After the question is read by the “reader” the first team to buzz will have 15 seconds to talk the question over with their team before giving their final answer.
“The tricky thing is the way they word the questions. First they give you the most obscure information and lastly give you the most obvious information,” says Maddie Everett, who is the only senior on the Crookston Knowledge Bowl team. “The trick is buzzing soon enough so you can be the first one to answer, but late enough so you hear all the important information in the question.”
If the first team to buzz answers incorrectly, then the second team to buzz gets to answer, and then the third. Each vocal round consists of 45 questions. “There are questions on everything, and a lot of grammar,” Anna explained, when asked what types of questions are asked.
Each room gets asked the same questions. After each round of 45 questions, the teams will be re-grouped based on their updated scores.
Sophomore Emily Gillette joked about their interaction with other teams between rounds. “It’s funny when you get out of the room and everyone complains about the ones they got wrong.”
When asked what types of questions can be frustrating, Anna said, “When you say a number and you get it wrong because you have to say ‘units’ or ‘inches’ after.” Or, Maddie added, “When you answer ‘the Revolutionary War’ but you have to say ‘the American Revolutionary War.’”
When asked why each individual decided to join Knowledge Bowl, Anna says, “I’m just good at obscure facts and random trivia.” Another sophomore, Eliza Meyer, laughed when saying “a lot of my friends were going to join and it’s an activity to join that I won’t get injured in.”
The team practices three days a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. “The way we practice is just going through sample questions and it’s just getting used to working as a team and hitting the buzzer quickly,” said Maddie.
The meets are usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
“We really don’t study for Knowledge Bowl. It’s really just the stuff you already know,” says Anna. “If you’re not good at a certain category, you can count on someone else on your team to be.
“Fisher has the best team and if they don’t win it’s a surprise,” Anna continued.
The girls decided as a group that both of their teams usually finish in the top ten.
The Crookston Knowledge Bowl teams are having a great season early on and look to have a bright future as they only have one senior, no juniors, and a handful of sophomores and freshmen.
In addition to the four members cited in this story, other CHS Knowledge Bowl team members include Ben Brantner, Josh Bernia, Ella Weber, Lily Sandman, and Walker Winjum.