Unfortunately, almost all Spring quiz bowl tournaments – local, regional, state – had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Ours would have been cancelled as well had our Tech Director Pat Jewell (aka President of Academic Hallmarks) not envisioned the Virtual National Academic Championship on Google Meet.
We came up with a buzzerless format (described in the rules list). We were surprised to find several aspects of the adapted format on Google Meet to be superior to in-person quiz bowl. Visual questions (Fine Art for the most part) could be included in every game. Contests could be recorded (with everybody’s permission) for later playback to assist with judgment calls. Consultation was allowed on every question in every round and watching the teamwork process can be fascinating. JV, Middle School, and Elementary tournament champs could be decided by head-to-head competition rather than stats.
The format was so successful that we plan to offer a videoconference option at 2021 Nationals, along with in-person events in New Orleans, DC, and Chicago – assuming folks can safely meet in hotels by next May. And look for NAA-sponsored one-day Saturday tournaments – local, regional, state – during the upcoming school year.
"... this academic team competition ... is by far the most impressive of any. The questions truly are significa and not convoluted using overused words like “namesake” ... Stopping the game to make commentary also makes it so much more personal and down to earth for our kids and the audience."
We have been calling ourselves “The Finest in Academic Competition” since 1982. But don’t take our word for it. See what our participants have to say...
“We have been to your NAC tourney 3 times in the past ten years... last year we actually “made it” to Sunday. We always had memorable experiences. We also went to [*] twice in that period of time. This year we had a scheduling problem ... and we opted for the [#] tournament this past weekend ... What a mistake! ... The question set from [#] was definitely not to our liking relying way too much on irrelevant rote facts instead of things that are relevant for today's students. My team was very disappointed and it was a sad way to end their academic team careers. We still managed to have a good time visiting battlefields in the region and reminiscing over the past four years. I guess the point of my note is to let you know, Chip, that you have a fine tournament and to keep doing what you have been doing!”
Barry L. Gallagher, DuBois Area (PA) High School Academic Team.
* name of tournament withheld
# name of another tournament withheld
“[Our] team has participated in national tournaments for eight of [the last ten] years. Our third year, due to scheduling, we attended another national tournament. It was evident to us following this experience that the National Academic Championship sponsored by Questions Unlimited was head and shoulders above the other tournament. Scheduling, staying on schedule, professionalism of the staff and administration, and the general friendliness of the tournament really stand out. This is why in the eight trips to national tournaments we have chosen the National Academic Championships seven times. Thanks for the great experience.”
Steve Duffee, Boone, Iowa.
You do have the best competition, bar none."
David C. O'Shields, Superintendent, Laurens County School District 56
Beall in the Stone Age of Quiz Bowl
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