The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood quiz bowl competes in national tournament


IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — For a second year in a row; the Ironwood Area Schools quiz bowl team competed in a national tournament, taking 12th place in a tournament in Chicago Monday.

Ironwood was among the over 200 teams from around the country that competed in the three-day event, coach Steve Boyd said — with all the teams having won local tournaments to earn their place.

“The requirements to get into (the tournament) is, you have to finish first in a state or regional tournament,” Boyd said.

Each team competed in at least six matches, with a 4-2 record needed to advance to the finals.

“And that's what we went, 4 and 2,” Boyd said.

The teams then competed in a single-eliminations final round, where Ironwood finished 12 overall.

Ironwood's wins at both of Gogebic Community College's tournaments — along with a second place finish in the Upper Peninsula-wide tournament in Marquette — secured Ironwood's spot, according to Boyd.

Boyd said the Chicago tournament had slightly different rules from the tournaments Ironwood normally competes in, which resulted in faster matches covering more material.

“Each match had four quarters, but all together they finish it in less than half an hour. So it flies pretty quick,” Boyd said. “When we do the ones at GCC, they're usually 45 minutes to one hour.”

Teams were also only allowed one guess per question, rather than multiple attempts like Ironwood is used to.

The first quarter of each match featured toss-up questions either team could answer, the second quarter featured toss-up questions with bonus questions for the team that answers the original question correctly, the third quarter was a lighting round with 10 questions in 60 seconds and the fourth round was a toss-up round with harder questions.

Boyd was proud of his team — which was comprised of Zane Ozzello, Ian Bentley, Rico Braucher and Corissa Mattson and Emily Carey — for competing against much bigger schools; which were from as far away as Illinois, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia and Ohio.

“We lost to a school that had 6,000 (students) in their high school,” Boyd said. “There were some schools there where quiz bowl was a class. There were a couple schools where the quiz bowl kids are actually in a separate academic (track); where they have their English, math, social studies and science in a block — just the quiz bowl kids.”

Even though Ironwood may not have had some of these advantages, Boyd said his team handled the pressure of the competition — earning several victories on the last question of the match.

“Our kids really did well and the community should be proud of them,” Boyd said. “We beat much larger schools and they really stood toe-to-toe with much larger schools and didn't blink.”

While in Chicago; the team also took in a show at Second City, explored the Midwest's largest book fair, attended the Chicago Blues Fest and “ate well,” according to Boyd.

He thanked the district for its support of the team, and teacher Ted Sim for the use of his room for team practices.

The good showing at the national competition has Boyd excited for next year's quiz bowl season.

“I can't wait, I only graduated one,” Boyd said laughing. “It's going to be a great team.”


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