‘Varsity sport of the mind’

Team claims six wins at last competition

THE TEAM — (Left to Right) Catherine Hardee, Corbin Payne (captain), Andrea Teachout and Marissa Estep.

What is the pope’s e-mail address?  Who is the host of Extreme Makeover Home Edition? What part of a letter begins two lines below the salutation?

These questions can be found in the National Question Bank at skillsusa.org. These are also the types of questions that Liberty’s Quiz Bowl team faces at competitions each semester.

According to its website, the Quiz Bowl team “has been called the ‘varsity sport of the mind.’”

Each semester, the team participates in numerous competitions. At a competition, members usually participate in games that involve two 10-minute halves with a short halftime between, according to the team’s coach, Associate Professor of English and Honors Director Dr. Jim Nutter.

“Usually you will hear about 10 toss-up questions per half, and then each toss-up has three bonus questions,” Nutter said. “Students buzz in to answer the toss-ups and then teams confer on the bonus questions.”

At the most recent and final competition of the semester at the University of Virginia (UVA) on Nov. 6, the team brought home six wins defeating North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) once and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) once, and North Carolina State University (NCSU) four times.

“Our four wins over an ACC school, NCSU, was a first for our team after beating Duke earlier in the semester in Durham,” Nutter said.

To prepare for competitions the team practice for 90 minutes every Thursday afternoon, according to Nutter.

The team captain, junior Corbin Payne, also has specific ways to not only help the team prepare but also to get himself ready to compete.

“As a team, our practices simulate real-life competitions in all respects,” Payne said. “Individually, we do different things. I like to review fact sheets and also research topics I had not gotten in the most recent practice or competition.”

According to Payne, on the day of competition the team focuses on relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

“On game day, we do not typically practice or try to recite trivia — we relax.  I have found that with our team the best way to do this is to just enjoy ourselves. So we will just hang out with one another and talk.”

According to Nutter, this year’s varsity team consists of three male and nine female students, two of whom are graduate students. At competitions, any member can compete, including freshmen. Freshman Marissa Estep heard about the Quiz Bowl team through the Honors Program.

“I decided to join the Quiz Bowl Team because I have always enjoyed answering questions,” Estep said. “I have loved learning about God’s creation through studying science since I was about two. As a science specialist on the Quiz Bowl team, I have the opportunity to be rewarded for answering questions about subjects I am passionate about.”

For Estep most of her preparation for competitions comes from what she learns in her classes.

“Everything I learn in my coursework only improves my Quiz Bowl abilities,” Estep said.

The Quiz Bowl team is open to new members. Interested students can stop by the Honors Office to speak with Nutter and to schedule a tryout or e-mail him at jhnutter@liberty.edu.

“If anyone loves Jeopardy, Quiz Bowl is like playing Jeopardy in teams of four against other colleges,” Nutter said.

“Two areas where we could use more expertise are in the fields of art history and music, especially opera.”

For those curious about the answers to the questions in the beginning and are still wondering, they are: benedictxvi@vatican.va, Ty Pennington and the body.

One comment

  • Well, I eagerly await finding out this weekend if Liberty can beat a VCU team besides a JV team of freshmen playing their second tournament. See you at ECU!

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