What is Quizbowl?

Quizbowl is a quiz game played on buzzers, designed to encourage learning about history, science, literature, and other academic subjects. It is played between two teams of four players each, usually representing different high schools or universities.

Quizbowl is played at schools around the world. 11 Ontario high schools have participated in the past, including the 15th-ranked quizbowl team worldwide and the national Reach for the Top champions. Many of the top winners on Jeopardy are former quizbowl players.

Quizbowl is great for students who are knowledgeable, competitive, and curious about the world. People often say that the best way to improve in the game is to read more books. As well, you definitely learn a lot whenever you attend a quizbowl tournament. Teachers and visitors are always impressed by quizbowl players’ knowledge.

Quizbowl is also distinct because it is community-run. Quizbowl tournaments tend to charge much lower entry fees than other trivia tournaments, and they are generally written and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. Quizbowl tournaments in Ontario are always run by school quiz clubs, so the entry fees go to the host team. ONQBA and its directors work for free — we do this out of pure enthusiasm.

If we’re doing our job right, then quizbowl should also be friendly and accessible to all players. Some veteran players might score a lot of points, but all players will be welcomed and appreciated, and all players will be participating and enjoying the games.

Here is a quick example of twenty topics that might span a round of quizbowl:

  • types of clouds
  • New York City politicians
  • John Keats’ poetry
  • Lester Pearson
  • The Office
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • history of East Germany
  • famous city parks
  • the god Osiris
  • Euclid’s principles of math
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • music for cello
  • history of the Philippines
  • B cells in the immune system
  • Andy Warhol and Vincent van Gogh
  • Plato’s Republic
  • Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • the element mercury
  • Saint Paul’s conversion
  • the Battle of Marathon