2018-02-11 / Community View

Thumb Area Quiz Bowl:

A battle of wits, quick reflexes
BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601•npugliese@mihomepaper.com


Competitors representing Carsonville-Port Sanilac, complete with tiger mascot, wracked their brains to come up with an answer during the round robin portion of Tuesday’s tournament. Competitors representing Carsonville-Port Sanilac, complete with tiger mascot, wracked their brains to come up with an answer during the round robin portion of Tuesday’s tournament. NORTH BRANCH — Who won the Nobel Peace Prize for leading negotiations for the Treaty of Portsmouth? What novel depicts the Joad family’s journey to California? What Austrian monk studied heredity with pea plants? If the number of dogs in a pound is eight times greater than the number of cats, and there are 450 dogs and cats in a pound, how many dogs are in the pound?

These are some questions that middle school quiz bowlers answer, under the pressure of competition — and more often than not, they get them right. In Quiz Bowl, two teams of students compete to buzz in to answer questions covering a myriad of topics like art and literature, math, history, science and more.


Students from Brown City headed to North Branch on Tuesday to compete in the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League’s Middle School Tournament. Students from Brown City headed to North Branch on Tuesday to compete in the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League’s Middle School Tournament. Quiz Bowl is a battle of wits that takes quick reflexes, determination, eclectic knowledge and a little luck, and on Tuesday, teams from the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League met at North Branch’s Ruth Fox Elementary to battle it out.

Teams representing North Branch, Brown City, Marlette, Sandusky and Carsonville-Port Sanilac were divided into 4-6th grade and 7-8th grade brackets and competed in a round robin-style preliminary round before heading into eliminations, until North Branch’s 4-6th team met Marlette’s 4-6th team in the championship round.

According to Bruce Irland, founder and director of the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League, the teams were evenly matched, with both teams emerging from the round robin round undefeated. “In the championship match, the score was often tied with each team then taking the lead several times,” said Irland. “A correct answer from North Branch tied the game at 150-150 with just one more question remaining. Marlette pulled out a correct response on (the last question) to take home the trophy.”

(Left) According to the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League director Bruce Irland, Tuesday’s tournament featured around 100 kids and saw intense, back-and-forth competition.(Left) According to the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League director Bruce Irland, Tuesday’s tournament featured around 100 kids and saw intense, back-and-forth competition.Irland said it was “probably the most exciting championship match that he has read for” in many years. “Both teams were evenly matched and put forth excellent efforts,” he said. The Thumb Area Quiz Bowl League was founded in 2000 by Irland, a former teacher in Marlette, and provides academic competitions for students in grades 4-12 in a sixcounty area. Approximately 400-500 students participate each year in monthly tournaments for each age bracket, with the winners of high school tournaments qualifying for the State Quiz Bowl Games at Michigan State University each April.



(Below) Seventh and eighth-grade students representing Brown City and Sandusky faced off during the preliminary round. “It’s a good experience to get them hooked on Quiz Bowl,” said Irland. “Hopefully they’ll continue on into high school. It’s a valuable experience.” (Below) Seventh and eighth-grade students representing Brown City and Sandusky faced off during the preliminary round. “It’s a good experience to get them hooked on Quiz Bowl,” said Irland. “Hopefully they’ll continue on into high school. It’s a valuable experience.”

(Above) Ultimately Marlette’s fourth-sixth grade team took home the trophy, defeating North Branch in the championship round with a late tie-breaking correct answer. 
Photos by Nicholas Pugliese (Above) Ultimately Marlette’s fourth-sixth grade team took home the trophy, defeating North Branch in the championship round with a late tie-breaking correct answer. Photos by Nicholas Pugliese

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