Quiz Bowl Takes the Lead

Last Saturday, the Quiz Bowl team competed at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) Korea Invitational tournament at Seoul Foreign School. Fighting through ten grueling rounds of questions concerning a wide range of topics from geology to pop culture, the KIS teams came in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th places, coming home with a trophy. “First time a team of mine came in top three,” Coach Joo beamed as he boarded the bus.

The Quiz Bowl team, formed by Chemistry teacher Mr. Jeong S. Joo in the second semester, now boasts about twenty members who attend weekly two hour-long practices on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Sometimes, the Quiz Bowl team members take on our very own KIS teachers—Mr. Russ Williams (U.S. History), Mr. Chien-Fa Kao (Chemistry), and Ms. Kim Bunting (Biology), are regular visitors. Last month, a visiting student from MIT and a member of MIT’s Quiz Bowl team joined a practice session

Quiz Bowl, despite its reputation as an extraneous activity, demands a lot but also teaches its participants just as much. A successful Quiz Bowl player not only has an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge but also possesses extraordinary quick recall ability—the player must beat his opponents to the punch when answering a question. The successful Quiz Bowl player also displays excellent teamwork and self-control, skills that also aid the player in real life. He/She must be capable of communicating efficiently with teammates to deduce the answer to a difficult question within seconds but should also be careful enough to wait for the reader to offer more clues to verify the exactitude of his/her answer.

“Quiz Bowl is, if you look at it, where you share and learn new knowledge. It is only natural that is academic; what you learn in a classroom is always bound to come out,” says Edward Yang (9), a top scorer at the Korea Invitational Tournament. Grace Lee (10), another star Quiz Bowl team member echoes this sentiment: “I think it’s very multidisciplinary; it fits how knowledge is like a web and how everything connects.”

In the end, however, it’s about having fun with other KIS students. Yoon Sung Kim (10) describes Quiz Bowl as “[combining] the competitiveness of team competitions while also allowing for each Quiz Bowl player to contribute and have fun.” For Brian Song (12), Quiz Bowl “is a place for [him] to get [his] mind off off schoolwork by answering trivia questions.” Like him, other senior members of the team are excited for their final overseas KIS school trip to take part in NAQT tournaments.

Currently, selected members of the Quiz Bowl team are competing in Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Invitational Tournament. In March, the KIS Quiz Bowl team will be participating in the Asian Quiz Bowl Championship in Shanghai.

– William Cho (’21)

Featured image: Mr. Jeong Joo

Chris Park (’19) contributed to this report.

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