Five NCF teams, each named after the five Spice Girls, attended a quiz bowl tournament last weekend at Valencia College in Orlando. While no team left unsuccessful, Team “Baby” earned a first place trophy, proving that even a new club on campus can take home a victory. Thirty-two teams across the state attended the Delta Burke tournament.
As co-leaders of the group, first-year transfer student Naimul Chowdhury and first-year Alexander Koutelias dedicate two days a week and countless hours teaching newbie quizbowlers how to play the game.
As the reader, lists off a trivia questions filled with a handful of clues, two teams compete to buzz in first with the correct answer. Those “tossup” questions can be answered by any individual. If the answer is correct, the entire team collaborates to answer more difficult, multipart “bonus” questions. The questions can cover an array of topics such as athletics, history, literature and science.
Additionally, a category known to quizbowlers as “TRASH” exists separately from the rest. TRASH, Total Recall About Strange Happenings, consist of wacky and obscure pop culture references.
“One time there was a TRASH question about football and it was dead silent until the last clue,” said first-year Adam Diaz, member of the team.
Chowdhury began his quiz bowl career two years ago at the State College of Florida (SCF), but brought his talents to NCF, founding the NCF Quiz Bowl Team (NCFQBT). “Competing while at SCF showed me that I can achieve my goals through hard work,” Chowdhury said. “Now I’m trying to act as a mentor because most of the members…this is their first time playing.”
He clarified that while the name NCFQBT contains a singular “team,” the club, which is comprised of more than 30 members, consists of multiple teams – each of which contain four to six people depending on the competition.
When asked for his fondest club memory thus far, he replied: “The unexpected and undefeated victory of our teams at our first competition.”
As one might expect of a pure mathematics AOC, Chowdhury spends much of his time completing math proofs; however, he is also a competitive videogame player. Koutelias, an international studies AOC, loves listening, watching and performing opera, a talent which earned NCFQBT 55 dollars at a recent fundraising event.
“Jesus Christ did not fight at the battle of Actium,” Koutelias, said, recalling a practice in which he made that claim in response to a quiz bowl question.
NCFQBT sent teams to two previous competitions, the Academic Competition Federation (ACF) Fall Regional Tournament at the University of Florida and the VCU Novice Tournament at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. At the former, a team took second place, and at the latter (the first tournament the club ever attended), team Paper went undefeated.
All of these accomplishments were made possible by the dedication of the club members, preparation by the club leaders, and funding from inside and outside sources. The Student Allocations Committee provided $850 dollars for the club, with the rest of the funding coming from the dean’s office.
While some discovered quiz bowl at the semester’s club fair, others managed their way onto the team by more indirect methods. “I decided to join after my roommate was asked to,” said first-year Yonathan Stone. Some members, like Diaz, were even more casual. “I just kinda showed up.”
First-year Emlie Bianca Fazio shared one of her favorite quiz bowl memories: “There was this one time…[the reader] was talking about cyanide and it got to the point where they mentioned it smelled like almonds…and that’s when I answered. Everyone wanted to know how I knew that.”
Quiz bowl is not only a club, but a passion and hobby to many. Though the club practices formally on Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., members can often be seen lounging around and reading questions in the Hamilton “Ham” Center or seeking rideshares to play together elsewhere. “My favorite part about being on the team are the times when we go to Perkins at 2 a.m. and play quiz bowl,” said Stone