Olympics level trivia: Scholastic Bowl


Emily Hao, Graphics Editor

Fremd High School boasts a staggering number of after school activities, from LYFE to PAVE, Speech to Debate. Each of these activities has its own unique charms, but it is arguably Scholastic Bowl that places trust and teambuilding most at the forefront.

The premise is straightforward: a competitive team-based event similar to trivia, but with a difficulty placing it around “Olympics” level as compared to simple party games. Each match consists of twenty “toss-up” questions, followed by three bonus questions each for the team that buzzed in and correctly answered the previous toss up. This emphasis on speed, accuracy, and cooperation thus transforms Scholastic Bowl into an event of mental— rather than physical— fitness.

The topics covered during practice and competitions envelop a wide range of information. The core school curriculums are there: history, science, math, and literature— but so are more specific sections such as religion, philosophy, pop culture, arts and entertainment. A successful Scholastic Bowl competitor has knowledge encompassing one or several of these sections, but the team-based nature of the competition allows for each member to specialize in areas they’re most comfortable in. Subsequently, this creates situations requiring extraordinary teamwork.

Junior Shreya Seetharam elaborates on the cooperation demanded by Scholastic Bowl.

“It takes a great deal of trust in yourself and your own knowledge to buzz in and risk being wrong,” Seetharam said. “But it also takes a great deal of faith in your teammates when it comes to stuff that you don’t know.”

The trust this activity demands between teammates is what sets it apart from other competitive events at Fremd High School. The supportive environment is not unique to Fremd, however.

Seetharam adds that even among rival schools, “we all want each other to succeed.”

While some clubs and activities might rely on skills that are more difficult to develop, such as acting or stand-up comedy, Scholastic Bowl is an event with plenty of opportunity for dramatic and rapid growth.

Junior Danny Kim, who leapt from being one of the team’s middling scorers to a consistent medalist in every tournament, believes that Scholastic Bowl also places a heavy emphasis on hard work. He thinks the activity is largely self-directed, but caters to a wide variety of preferences.

“In Scholastic Bowl you get exactly what you put in,” Kim said. “You’re not made to do stuff. You can make the decision to be a lead player, or you can choose to be more laid-back and support your teammates.”

At the end of the day, however, the members of Fremd Scholastic Bowl all came together for the same reason: a love of knowledge, both the classical and the obscure.

Freshman Kishan Teeka comments that it was his enjoyment of the general activity that led him to join at the beginning of the year.

“I just love trivia,” Teeka said. “And doing it with friends just makes it so much more fun.”

Social studies teacher and Scholastic Bowl sponsor Kevin Palmer believes that the club has a lot to offer to students who might be seeking a more stimulating and unpredictable extracurricular.

“In my opinion, [Scholastic Bowl] combines the competition normally found in sports with the cerebral of academics. It can be quite exciting, with many matches being decided by the last toss up or the very last bonus question.”

Students with an interest in multiple subjects who would be interested in a fast-paced club like Scholastic Bowl can join its team members in rooms 236 and 237 on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:00–4:00.