Quizbowl at VCU attends two national championships, finishes 15th in North America

Quizbowl at VCU, a premiere academic competition club based at Virginia Commonwealth University, recently finished its national championship season with two notable finishes at the national championship events of collegiate quizbowl.

College quizbowl is a fast-paced, challenging activity in which players compete using a buzzer system to answer questions about science, history, literature, philosophy, art, popular culture, and other topics

On April 9, the club sent a four-person team to compete in the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament, an event run by National Academic Quiz Tournaments. At the ICT, VCU played in “Division II,” a side of the tournament reserved for players making their first national appearance. VCU’s team consisted of Akhil Garg (Class of 2016, Bioinformatics), Nathaniel Boughner (2017, Business), Najwa Watson (2016, Biology), and Cole Metz (2018, History and Theater). VCU qualified for one of the 32 available spots in the tournament field by its high placement among the 156 teams who competed at NAQT Sectionals sites around the U.S. and Canada in February.

VCU’s ICT team finished 15th overall, in a tournament that the University of Chicago ultimately won. VCU’s best match was a 285-280 cheesemelter won by the smallest margin possible in the quizbowl scoring system over Gettysburg College, a year-long rival in Division II. The tournament was held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, a conference hotel in the Chicago area.

The second tournament, held on April 16 and 17, was the Academic Competition Federation’s national championship. At ACF Nationals, where all teams compete in one field, Garg, Boughner, and Watson were joined by Casey Bindas, a first-year M.S. student in Forensic Science. Playing against the top teams from other schools, VCU finished 34th, after qualifying for one of 44 slots in the tournament field by its high finish among 139 teams who competed at ACF Regionals sites in January. VCU finished ahead of schools such as the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University at ACF Nationals, which was won by the team from the University of Michigan, who also hosted the event on their campus.

Teams from the United Kingdom and Canada joined the top universities in the U.S. at both tournaments. Quizbowl at VCU, a club founded in fall 2002, has previously finished as high as fourth at Division II ICT, third at Division I ICT, and fourth overall at ACF Nationals. The club is open to any VCU student and travels to several tournaments per year.

NAQT ICT statistics: https://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament-teams.jsp?tournament_id=6601 ACF Nationals statistics: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/3507/stats/final_rankings/ For more information, contact club alumnus and advisor George Berry at [email protected] or 804-201-3212.

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