Longfellow Quiz Bowl Team Ranks 33rd and 95th at Nationals Tournament


Courtesy of Eugene Huang

Longfellow quiz bowl team at Middle School Nationals Tournament in Chicago O’Hare Residency (Left: Mr. Huang, Angela Y., Sabina H., Karin L. Mustafa F., Aaron L., Nihal D., Hudson H.).

On May 13, 2023, the quiz bowl team consisted of eight hardworking and diligent individuals, each majoring in subjects such as science, literature, history, and current events. The team flew to Chicago and went head to head with other teams from across the country and even some from abroad. Longfellow’s A team placed 33rd, while their B team placed 95. 

Quiz bowl is a fast-paced buzzer competition where students answer twenty-four questions, per round, with three bonuses answered for each correct toss-up. Each team may only play four students at a time. In a team, each player chooses one subject which they study and focus on for the rest of the year: science, history, literature, geography, and fine arts. The team is coached by math teacher Eugene Huang.

On Mondays, the quiz bowl team has buzzer practice, and on Tuesdays, there is a lesson. Along with practice at school, many of the players on the quiz bowl team spend many hours dedicated to studying material related to their major. They will read textbooks about the topic, memorize keywords on the quiz Bowl Cannon, or even play online live against other quiz bowl players on Protobowl, an online database.

“I study off online quizlets and my own science notes,” said Ragav K., a member of the team. “The quiz bowl canon is also useful. It improves teamwork skills and general memory power.  It also gives you great conversation starters. It is really fun, and I always learn something new.”

In the middle of the year, the Sponsor sees which players have shown that they have a wide range of knowledge. There are many players that attend the club, but only eight are selected to attend the Nationals Tournament.

“As soon as you join the club, you have to work hard from the start and show that you are the best at the topic that you specialize in so you can be selected; this includes studying extra hard and performing well during Buzzer Practice,” said Mustafa F., a B Team Science Major who performed at Nationals. “After that, most of the stress is gone, and you just have to focus on preparing for Nationals.”

In quiz bowl, knowledge is key, and retaining that knowledge can be hard. 

“The most important thing about growing as a player is being interested in the knowledge,” said Mr. Huang. “If you don’t find the knowledge interesting, the knowledge will feel like dead weight on your brain, and you won’t enjoy quiz bowl. The second most important thing is trusting your teammates. One player can’t learn everything on their own.” 

There are multiple smaller tournaments throughout the year, which the players usually compete in to get ready for Nationals. Along with this, Mr. Huang makes sure the players are ready by assigning scrimmages to competitions and tournaments throughout the year. 

“Before going to nationals, you have to be aggressive in your studying,”  Huang advised. “You have to believe that there is always someone better than you and want to be better than that person.”  

During the Nationals Tournament, there are a lot of close games, and having a good captain makes a team able to succeed. 

“During nationals, when games got more tense,” said Angela Y., the B Team Captain, “I think the most important thing that I told my team to help them perform better was to have a good strategy.” 

“When you’re going head to head with other great teams across the country, every point matters and is vital to the success of the team,” Mustafa said. “This means a lot of quick thinking in a short amount of time. So even when you have a small tingle of what the answer might be, you buzz in and say the first thing that comes to your mind.”

Mr. Huang has been the sponsor of quiz bowl for almost fifteen years now, and he has had a lot of experience with the club; he enjoys seeing the players grow over the years. This year was his last year as the sponsor because he will be leaving Longfellow.

“It is amazing how the whole year just flashes by so quickly,” said Mustafa. “I really enjoyed having Mr. Huang as the sponsor. He put so much time, dedication, and effort into the club. I am sad that he has to leave, but I am grateful to have had him there for the  team this year.” 

The quiz bowl team is excited to see what the 2023-2024 season brings.

Courtesy of Eugene Huang