RHS quiz bowl team adjusts to numerous COVID changes

Senior Megan Harper practices her Quiz Bowl prowess.

Lucie Gripp

Senior Megan Harper practices her Quiz Bowl prowess.

The Quiz Bowl team had to push back the start of this year’s season until there was a Covid-safe way to play.
The team was able to start their season after the delay, playing three matches thus far and winning two of them.
“While a normal season starts in late October, this season began at the beginning of December to allow for the coaches in the league to figure out how to execute the matches this year,” Coach Robert Curtiss said.
In order to prevent spreading the coronavirus, the league decided to do both matches and practices virtually.
“Our practices are held on Google Meet, just like our matches, since we cannot practice in person. At practice we basically answer questions the same way we would in a match instead of going head-to-head as we would when we were able to meet in person,” senior team captain Megan Harper said.
Not only has the format of practices changed, but so have the teams they are set to play against.
“We are only playing with a portion of our regular league because the matches are being run by the organization Questions Unlimited instead of between the schools like it usually is. This season only eight out of fifteen teams decided to play,” Harper said.
In addition to the late start to the season and the limited teams to play against, the format of the matches has also been modified.
“The switch to virtual has slightly changed the game. We are now allowed to confer as a team on every single question which we weren’t allowed to do before,” Harper said.
Getting used to these differences is important to the team’s success this season.
“The change in the format for answering questions has really affected how we practice as a team. We had to get used to it and make sure we were all comfortable with the format,” senior Kelsey Wink said.
Some of the members have been able to use these changes to their advantage.
“The switch to virtual has made Quiz Bowl easier for me because now I am able to double check with my teammates to make sure our answer is correct, so it’s made me more confident,” Wink said.
The confidence gain is not shared among all team members, some view the switch to virtual as a negative.
“Personally I think it makes it all a little harder, we only have a short amount of time to communicate about the questions and that can be hard to do with internet delay,” Harper said.
Despite the lag and other changes, the team has won a majority of the matches they have had so far this season.
“We have played three of our seven matches so far, with two wins over flat rock and huron and one loss to Woodhaven. We are currently tied for first place,” Curtiss said.
The team will compete next on February 3 against Dearborn at 4:10.