Welcome to Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl!

Welcome to GPQB! If this is your first time here, you might be interested in “What is Quizbowl?” and “How do I start a Quizbowl team?

Current quizbowl players and coaches might want to check out our resources for “How to Get Better at Quizbowl.”

Looking for a tournament to play? Check out our tournament schedule for the upcoming year.

As always, feel free to comment on any post if you have any questions or feedback; we’re happy to help interested students or teachers with starting a new team at their schools. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @paquizbowl or email us at gpquizbowl@gmail.com.

GPQB Pre-Season Poll 2021-22

Friends,

Yet another quizbowl season is upon us! We are excited to see how a (hopeful) resumption of some in-person tournaments plays out and which schools, new and old, will excel. The season can’t start without the traditional pre-season poll, of course, so without further ado, our pre-season poll!

1. Great Valley A (118 points, 10 first place)

2. Manheim Township A (110, 2 first place)

3. Cedar Crest (89)

4. Moravian Academy (87)

5. State College (64)

6. Hempfield (62)

7. Friends Select (36)

T8. Henderson (20)

T8. Manheim Township B (20)

10. Great Valley B (17)

Also Receiving Votes Were: Downingtown STEM (13), North Catholic (10), Pittsburgh Central Catholic (9), Downingtown East (3), Carver HSES (2), and Germantown Friends (1)

We salute all these teams for their quizbowl skill!

Voters in this poll were: Ryan Bilger, Carsten Brodbeck, Aaron Cartwright, Ben Herman, Antonio Jimenez, Andrew Nadig, Toby Palmer, Alex Sankaran, Colton Sanden, Steven Silverman, Will Yaeger, and Albert Zhang

Quizbowl Team Funding Tips

Quizbowl is, on the whole, quite affordable compared to many other academic extracurriculars. There are no official study guides or practice materials that you are required to buy each year; instead, there are tens of thousands of free questions and many websites with free material to help your team study. Teams are not forced to commit to a whole series of events, but can instead pick and choose how many competitions to attend throughout the season to match their level of interest and funds. Entry fees are still relatively low, at about $70-80 per 4-player team for a whole day of competition.

That said, there are a number of things that teams can to do reduce their costs (especially when initially starting out as a new team) and ways to look for additional funds to help support their team. Tournament organizers should also be aware that new teams in particular can lack a clear funding stream and do everything possible to help welcome more teams even if they can’t initially pay full price.

Specific Things to Do to Reduce Costs for a Team

Check for Discounts

Many tournaments will offer some kind of “new to quizbowl” discount for new teams. These discounts are usually fairly substantial, with some cutting the price to $20 or less per team. Even after your first event, TDs might be willing to apply that discount to the 2nd or 3rd events as well, so be sure to ask. There are usually also buzzer discounts for bringing buzzer systems, so be sure to bring your (working) buzzer system if you have one. If you don’t have a buzzer system immediately available, you might want to ask around at your school or district–there may be other clubs that have a buzzer system (Science Bowl for instance) that they’d let you borrow or there might be an older buzzer system gathering dust in a closet somewhere at District Headquarters. Finally, there are also usually staff discounts for bringing a (trained) scorekeeper or moderator. You might ask, if the tournament is short staffed, if such discounts could be increased as well to better make it worth your while to bring a (trained) staffer.

Ask for Discounts, If Needed

If you’re the coach or sponsor of a new quizbowl team and you’re going to be paying for the event out of your own pocket and not getting reimbursed, I suspect most TDs would be willing to cut you a deal of some kind beyond even the typical “new team discount”. I found that offering a $10-20 fee got a decent amount of interest from new-to-quizbowl schools. Just make sure that you clearly explain your team’s financial circumstances to the TD. Tournaments still cost money to produce and letting any given team play for free for more than a few events would probably not be sustainable, but for new teams or rebuilding programs or teams that have lost funding (say due to budget cuts), it can’t hurt to ask.

Look for All Possible Pots of Funding

Principals are a great place to start in terms of finding ways to increase funding (or getting temporary funding) for any given team. Parent-teacher associations and alumni associations are also good areas to look into, especially for one-time startup funds. Ask individual school board members or other local politicians if there might be funding, especially for things like trips to state or national competitions. Parents and students also might be able to talk to and convince their local school boards to give more funding to all quizbowl teams in their district, which can help lift an entire local circuit all at once. If there is a labor negotiation going on, see if quizbowl can get included as an official activity that’s covered by the contract to help enshrine the funding.

Outside of schools, look for local foundations or philanthropists who might be willing to donate to quizbowl (though note that they’re likely want some kind of specific initiative or purpose beyond just “fund quizbowl”; you’ll likely need to explain and show what benefits quizbowl has, especially to the local community). Some local businesses might also be happy to sponsor a quizbowl team or tournament in exchange for publicity.

Of course, the best fundraiser for quizbowl is generally hosting your own quizbowl tournament, which is usually a good goal to set once your team gets up and running as a way to ensure a steady source of funds and to give back to your local circuit.

Use Online Buzzers for Practice

Buzzer systems can be somewhat expensive (most are in the $250-400 range), but you don’t need one necessarily to get started with quizbowl. Looking around the internet, there are several online buzzer systems like BuzzIn.Live out there that can be done through phones, chromebooks, or laptops. This can save your team a couple of hundred dollars starting out, which can be quite helpful when a team is just being formed and what limited funds are available can be put towards attending tournaments. Try to acquire buzzers as soon as you can though, since you can earn discounts by bringing them to events (you might enter the Matt’s Buzzers drawings for a periodic chance at a free buzzer), but buzzers are not essential to getting a quizbowl team started.


General Ideas to Make Quizbowl More Affordable


Host shorter, more local events that cost less.

Get the three other nearest schools to your school together and run a small after-school event. Host an event just for schools in your local county. Convince your neighboring school to start a team and host an event. While some long-distance travel and large events are of course good things to keep on your schedule, more local options will reduce costs and stress on coaches/chaperones. Travel time to tournaments and the costs of travel can take up a major part of many teams’ budgets, so making sure to keep those low in your area by encouraging more events hosted by more schools can be a good step towards making quizbowl more affordable.

If you have the means, give back yourself.

If you’re no longer a student, choose to give back to local quizbowl teams. Most schools are happy to detail the proper procedures to make donations directed to their quizbowl teams if you ask. It might be as simple as sending in a check to a school with “Quizbowl” marked on the memo line. That said, other actions like volunteering as a reader at events are free and essential to making quizbowl run, so if you have the time experienced readers are always appreciated.

Outreach Lessons Learned

Based on over a decade of doing outreach in Pennsylvania and several other states, here are some thoughts on how to help recruit and retain new quizbowl teams. I touched on some of these themes in a Qwiz conference presentation back in February, but here I’m condensing this into some specific suggestions that I hope will be helpful.

Doing Outreach Beats Not Doing Outreach

Many people in quizbowl are now talking more and more about outreach as a key component of quizbowl alongside writing, editing, and playing. This is a welcome change, but talking about doing outreach is easy. Actually doing outreach–and doing it well–is harder. It takes time. Composing unique emails to specific contacts that reflect the information that you can publicly gather about a school (that is, tailor your emails to each school and contact; do NOT do a mass BCC!) takes 10-15 minutes per school, even if you have a template email to work from (for a template email and some suggestions on sending outreach emails, click here).

One way to make this easier: once you or someone else in your circuit gathers a list of potential contacts, divide up responsibility with other people in your region and send emails over the course of a week or two. If you have a few free minutes, grab some more emails or contacts and send out some more emails. Your own position in the quizbowl community doesn’t matter; you could be a player, a coach, a former player, a reader at nearby events, or whatever. Just let these people at nearby schools know that quizbowl exists, that you (as a member of the quizbowl community) find it awesome, and that they can learn more by talking to you or visiting some websites.

Email Works

Though many years ago there was some debate as to whether or not email or snail mail worked better for outreach, email really wins out in terms of its ease of use. At this point, I also think it trumps snail mail in terms of efficiency. Even though you’re likely going to get a response rate of, at best, 4-5% of the emails that you send out, this effect compounds over time as each year or semester you can get more responses from new schools while retaining old schools. You can feel free to send some flyers or letters out via snail mail, but email is probably your best bet. Leaving a phone message might also be helpful, though it works best as a complement to a concrete email. Finally, realize that contacts often change due to retirements or people leaving schools. Always check each year for updated contact information for principals, vice-principals in charge of activities, gifted coordinators, activity coordinators, etc.

I haven’t found a specific time that works better than others in terms of when to send an outreach email out. Generally, I think emailing principals during the summer works better (since they’re still working then) and teachers either just before or a few weeks after the school year starts, but I don’t see a pattern in terms of the time of day or day of the week. I once got a response from a teacher at nearly midnight on the weekend and have occasionally gotten responses from principals a few hours after sending the initial email.

Send Multiple Emails

I think this is one area where I have made a mistake in the past of trying to limit contact to only 1 or 2 emails per year. You don’t want to send, say, more than 1 email a month, but unless you hear directly otherwise I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sending 2-3 emails to the same contact over the course of a semester until you get a response. I have heard many “oh you never emailed us before” responses from people who were, in fact, emailed before while I have yet to hear directly that a contact received too many emails. Just be sure that each email is, in fact, different and personalized to that contact (perhaps framed as “here’s a new event close to School Y that your students could attend” or other updates that help provide fresh info). Keep in mind too that it’s fine to email multiple contacts at the same school, but I would stagger them by at least two weeks to give the first person a chance to respond. You never know too if the first person forwarded the email to others.

Visit In Person

I can’t overstate the advantages of this. Practically every time I’ve been able to visit and run a sample practice at an interested school, that school will form and generally retain a team. I would thus recommend trying as much as possible to get any interested contacts at a school to schedule an informational meeting time and advertise it to interested students, then show up yourself (with permission, of course) to demonstrate how quizbowl works. Though the number of students who show up to this can vary from zero to over fifty, it’s a great chance to get face time with the potential sponsor. At the very least, an online videoconference visit with the sponsor or principal would be a great start and may be easier to facilitate.

Judiciously Offer Guidance

Each team will have its own internal team culture and interests in terms of what the members of the team and the sponsor want to do. See if you can figure out what those interests are if you visit or work with a school and do your best to frame your advice through that perspective. If it’s an interest in improving their college admissions chances for instance, explain how quizbowl can be helpful for college admissions. If it’s to seriously compete against a rival school, offer to help show them resources and techniques to improve. It’s always helpful too to suggest specific local events that are difficulty-appropriate for them to attend. After a certain point, however, unless you are prepared to and the school is willing for you to coach the team, you have to let them do the work themselves. Micromanagement isn’t a good look either and too many emails can exhaust potential sponsors. Realize that at some point you can only offer so much guidance and support before it becomes incumbent on the team to do things themselves.

Keep Teams in the Loop

Stay in touch in a friendly way. Offer to stop by if possible at least once a year to help drum up interest from new players. Keep people in “the loop” by also directing them to any local (and ideally well-moderated) discussion boards or Discords. It’s also probably a good idea to check-in with each team before the end of the year in case the coach is leaving or taking on a new responsibility to see if you can help with the transition. Some areas might also format these kinds of updates as a “newsletter” that shares relevant information with all teams in a given area periodically, though you don’t have to do that. Just be sure to touch base with the existing teams at least a couple of times a year.

Retention is Essential

It’s tough to get a new school to their first quizbowl event, but the real test comes after that first event. Will the team continue to exist, continue to attend quizbowl events, and continue to remain interested in weekend pyramidal quizbowl events? This is where follow-up is absolutely essential, especially since it’s so hard to get new schools to quizbowl events in the first place.

One way to do this: if you read for a school at an event this year (or if you are the TD of an event) but haven’t seen that school at another quizbowl event in several months, feel free to shoot them an email (you can ask the TD of the event for the contact email). Say that you enjoyed reading for them, would love to see them at another event, and just make it clear that their presence in quizbowl is valued.

Have Long Time Horizons

I’ll sometimes get an outreach email from someone in an area of quizbowl that’s ripe for outreach just itching to jump into doing outreach. This person will collect a lot of email addresses, send out a lot of emails, get back maybe 3-4 responses, and end up with 1-2 new teams at their next event. Disappointed, this person then stops trying to do outreach.

You have to keep at it. Any outreach campaign to get a critical mass of new teams playing quizbowl in an area needs at least a two-year, probably more like a 3-4 year time horizon to get 6-8 new teams that last. And, as the previous points suggest, you need to keep working on the schools that you do reach to make sure that they stay aware of quizbowl and want to come to future events.

Outreach is Everyone’s Responsibility

Quizbowl’s long-term existence and its degree of success in reaching new schools and students depends on continued outreach. If you are on a college team, you should be reading at tournaments in the area–not just your own school’s tournaments–and ideally helping out with outreach for your event instead of just relying on the same old teams each year. Sure, you can’t read at all events, but you should be reading at some. It’s not only the right thing to do to help encourage the spread of quizbowl and usually quite fun in itself, but it could very well end up helping your school’s team. If you are a strong player on a HS team, you may want to consider reading at more events as well instead of playing them, particularly if they’re on easy questions that you shouldn’t be playing. Alumni too, to the extent that their obligations allow, should make an effort to come read at events run by their old teams (or at least some nearby team to where they live). And everyone else, if you’re reading this and at least tangentially involved with quizbowl, should do what you can to help with quizbowl outreach, keeping in mind of course that you will then be representing quizbowl as a whole to people who haven’t yet put their hands on a buzzer.

Chris

GPQB End-of-Season Poll

Friends,

It’s June, and that means it’s time to say goodbye to another quizbowl season. There were ups, downs, and plenty of surprises. Trying to rank teams was especially difficult for our panel, and there was more disagreement than usual. In aggregate, though, the poll reflects a season with a lot of parity and so many incredible students. Without further ago, here is the end-of-season poll for Pennsylvania High School Quizbowl, 2020-21:

1. Great Valley A (135 points, 9 first place, =)

2. Manheim Township A (131, 5 first place, =)

3. Hempfield (107, =)

4. Moravian Academy (94, +1)

5. State College A (74, -1)

6. Cedar Crest (73, =)

7. Friends Select (41, u/r)

T8. Henderson (35, =)

T8. Kiski Area (35, u/r)

10. State College B (16, u/r)

Also Receiving Votes Were: Great Valley B (11), Manheim Township B (10), Pittsburgh Central Catholic (5), Oxford, (2), and Downingtown East (1)

We salute all these teams for their quizbowl skill!

Voters in this poll were: Ryan Bilger, Chris Chiego, Ben Herman, Jack Edmondson, Antonio Jimenez, Andrew Nadig, Seth Paul, Toby Palmer, Alex Sankaran, Colton Sanden, Steven Silverman, Adam Swift, Danny Turillo, and Albert Zhang

Nationals Season Wrap-Up, 2020-21

The nationals season always brings some surprises with it, and this year was no different. There are to major high school nationals: the NAQT HSNCT and PACE NSC. This year, 13 Pennsylvania teams contested the former and two teams contested the later. There were twists and turns and great matches a plenty. Though not as many teams had playoff runs out of Pennsylvania as normal, there was some memorable ones and at NSC especially, the teams really exceled and represented the state with gusto.

In a bit of a surprise considering Great Valley’s unblemished record in Pennsylvania, they did not finish the highest of Pennsylvania schools at either HSNCT or NSC. That honor went to a feisty Manheim Township squad, who finished T31 at HSNCT and 20th overall at NSC. At HSNCT, they needed an overtime win to beat Dunbar (KY) and get into the playoffs, but they did so and got a playoff win over longtime Ohio powerhouse Solon. At NSC, they also needed to win in overtime to make a higher bracket and notched a tight win over IMSA (IL). They While wins were hard to come by after that, Township kept most of their games close. It was a strong multi-layer effort, with AZ scoring around 50-60 points per game at each, Baybars adding around 30, and significant scoring contributions from Deeya, Ellie, and Kevin (the later at NSC). With a strong B team already yielding promotions late in the year, Township may have become the pre-season favorite for 2021-22 with these twin performances. 20th is the second-highest NSC finish for a Pennsylvania team in the last decade.

As for Great Valley, this was still a successful nationals season, finishing T49th at HSNCT and 25th at NSC. This is a program best for Great Valley at both tournaments. Anish led the way both times and was named a tournament all-star at NSC, where he scored an impressive 88 ppg. At NSC, the team was understrength, missing GPQB honorable mention players Rishi and Anshu. Despite this, they notched wins over quizbowl powers including Solon, Canyon Crest (CA), and Westview (CA). At HSNCT, the full strength team gave spirited playoff challenge to Hunter (NY), who would place near the top of the tournament at both nationals.

At HSNCT, Hempfield was the only other playoff team this year, going 5-3 in the prelims and finishing T73th overall. This team was senior heavy so it was nice to see them get into the playoffs and continue Hempfield’s strong performance there, as they were coming off a T12 at the 2019 HSNCT. They lost by only 160 points to Barrington (IL), who would go on to win it all. Carsten capped of a great career with 33 points per game, but was nearly matched by Michael’s 31.

Two PA teams went 4-4 at HSNCT, just missing out on playoffs. Henderson was the strongest statistically, though a rough start buried them at 1-4 before they came back for a strong finish. Mithra and Abheya each had over 25 points per game. State College B, in something of a weird tradition, did better than their A team despite being younger and less experienced. This is a school that perennially seems to produce players that can scale well to nationals.

In addition, Moravian Academy, Cedar Crest, Carver, Friends Select, and Holidaysburg competed, as well as B teams from Great Valley and Manheim Township. Holidaysburg qualified through a local league and jumped right in the deep end of nationals without any pyramidal experience, going a very respectable 3-5 despite that. We hope to see more of them next year! Meanwhile, Carver deserves plaudits for a 3-5 finish with their strongest team ever and a group of seniors that has worked perpetually to improve and has gotten better over time. Moravian, down their best player, still put together a combined performance that impresses, especially on bonuses.

With that, the online season of quizbowl closes. It was a memorable one full of interesting headlines, and our hope is that in-person quizbowl and the electricity in the room when it takes place will be in the very near future

-Ben

GPQB Awards, 2020-2021

Friends,

It is with pleasure we can announce this seasons’ GPQB awards for playing and coaching, adding more names to the storied annals. These individuals flourished in this oddball season and lead teams, on the buzzer and off, to incredible success. There were many deserving candidates and it is wonderful to see these individuals represent PA quizbowl. Without further ado:

Congratulations to Anish Kodali of Great Valley High School for winning Player of the Year for 2020-2021. Standing head and shoulders above the competition while leading his Great Valley team to the first undefeated season within Pennsylvania quizbowl, Anish excelled across the entire distribution and powered profusely. Anish’s steady presence anchored GV, and the team was rarely challenged. His dedication to quizbowl extended beyond the buzzer and he is leading a mirror of a set next week. Still only a Junior, Anish will continue to build his legend in PA quizbowl.

Congratulations to Danny Peelen of Cedar Crest High School for winning JV Player of the Year for 2020-2021. As only the 3rd sophomore to make the first-team all state, Danny has led a resurgence of Cedar Crest quizbowl en route to their best season yet. Particularly strong at history and literature, Danny exemplifies fast improvement and inspired peers across the state.

Congratulations to Elissa Manlove of Moravian Academy for winning Coach of the Year for 2020-2021. Moravian was not expected to be one of the top teams in the state this year, but flourished under her tutelage. Both the A and B team had strong seasons where multiple players contributed and the team worked particularly well together on bonuses, showing good coaching and discipline. Finishing 5th at SSNCT and a potential HSNCT run are icing on the cake.

-The Staff

GPQB All-State Teams 2020-2021

Friends,

Another year in the PA quizbowl history books! The digital format of this year was something to marvel, and it gave the chance for all the teams to compete as one rather than regional subcircuits. This led to a lot of great competition and a lot of fun games. As is always the case, the circuit moderators got together and voted on All-State teams, to acknowledge the top players in the state. They continue the tradition of elite quizbowl in the state of Pennsylvania. Without further ado:

First Team All-State

  • AZ Faiz, Manheim Township High School
  • Eddie Fuhrer, Kiski Area High School
  • Anish Kodali, Great Valley High School
  • Danny Peelen, Cedar Crest High School
  • Ananya Tadigadapa, State College High School

Second Team All-State

  • Carsten Brodbeck, Hempfield High School
  • Chris Goodrich, Oxford High School
  • Nolan Greenways, Great Valley High School
  • Rishi Raman, Great Valley High School
  • Divik Verma, Moravian Academy

Honorable Mentions

  • Caden Atlas, Friends Select School
  • Baybars Chakras, Manheim Township High School
  • Anshu Nunemunthala, Great Valley High School
  • Jenna Yaeger, Hempfield High School

We commend all these students on their hard work this season.

-The staff

GPQB May Invitational (5/1) Wrap-Up

On Saturday, May 1, seven teams gathered for the final GPQB invitational of the season. The tournament used SATURNALIA, described as a hard (“regs+” difficulty) high school set.

Stats are here.

Great Valley’s powerful lineup of Anish, Nolan, Rishi, and Anshu finished at the top once more with 21.02 points per bonus and 56 powers over nine games, averaging 424.4 points per game and even hitting an impressive 13/3/1 statline in round 10. State College, led by Ananya with some key buzzes from Darren and Elijah, finished tied for second with Manheim Township A, which featured tournament top scorer A.Z. with support from Baybars, Deeya, and Ellie. Despite having a slightly lower 17.89 overall PPB, State College triumphed in their two matchups. However, in perhaps the most thrilling match of the day, MT A seriously threatened first place GV’s undefeated record with a prelim game that went to a tiebreaker before ending with GV up 315-300. Rounding out the top bracket was Cedar Crest, led by Danny’s 95.83 PPG in the prelims and 84.44 PPG overall. They also tied for second. Cedar Crest challenged State College in both their games, losing the first one 245-275 but claiming 11 of the 20 tossups in the rematch to win 290-215.

In the lower bracket, Eddie played solo for Kiski and put up 76.88 individual PPG overall, winning both his afternoon games. Manheim Township B managed a 325-270 victory over Kiski in the morning and showed potential with 235 PPG in a game against State College. Downingtown East braved the challenging set and started the day strong with a 205-160 win over MT B.

The fierce intrastate competition and close games bode well for PA’s top teams as we enter the 2021 (online) nationals season. We’re excited to see how our 11 teams from 9 schools stack up against the best programs from around the country at the upcoming HSNCT on May 29-30. Good luck to all, and we can’t wait to follow along!

-Jackie

3 Unique Things About Quizbowl in Pennsylvania

Thanks to the wonders of online quizbowl, I’ve had a chance to read for not only most of the GPQB events this year but also a number of tournaments in other parts of the country. Based on these experiences, there are three distinctive things that I’ve noticed while reading at PA tournaments that I think augur well for the future of quizbowl in the Keystone State.

More Focus on Newer Teams and Players

Having a novice division at almost every event seems to work well in helping newer teams and players adjust to quizbowl. It’s somewhat surprising that a number of other places still group all teams together, even when there are major disparities in experience; it’s no fun to see a nationally ranked top-25 team buzzsaw through schools making their online quizbowl debut on NAQT IS A-sets. Even better, it’s great to see the B and C teams from more established schools who might have players who benefitted from playing in middle school or as part of a well-oiled team preparation program that are willing to “play up” in the varsity or open divisions even if they’re technically eligible for novice. Similarly, it’s also good to see some of the most experienced players skip playing events on easy sets and volunteer to read instead. Major props to those players who chose to do that this year.

More Coach Involvement

PA schools seem more likely than teams from many other areas to have an involved coach who might help read, actively coach, or simply work to keep track of 4+ teams worth of players at events. This is helpful in many ways to tournament directors and to moderators since there’s a clear line of accountability in case of any issues or more prosaic concerns like “where is Team X” throughout an event. This increased amount of supervision seems to also make PA tournaments a bit more polite in terms of communication during events and less prone to online troll-ish behavior. Finally, more coach involvement also pays off in fewer issues with suspected cheating. I saw much less suspicious behavior from teams with stronger levels of coach supervision and think that this made for a better experience for everyone at online events. Kudos to the many coaches in PA who volunteered their Saturdays to help make quizbowl happen this year and every year.

More Fun for the Readers

The decision this year at GPQB events to not do bonuses in the prelim rounds was, in my opinion, a great innovation. It lead to much faster events that were far less exhausting and allowed both players and readers to maintain their energy for the playoffs in the afternoons (or, in my case being on Pacific Time, late morning). I also really liked using Zoom at PA events as it seemed to give higher quality audio and video than Discord, though it was more of a pain to move teams from one room to another. The inclusion of staff lounges during lunch and the playoffs was another fun feature as well that continued the PA tradition of congeniality among tournament staffers. Quizbowl events can’t run without staffers (more past PA players, especially those sticking around the state, should definitely read at events in the future!) and making events fun for both teams and staffers is a win all around.

Other states have great teams, TDs, and staffers as well, but I’ve had my best experiences as a staffer at PA events this year. I hope that more TDs and readers will step up to the plate in future years to continue a great Keystone State tradition, whether online or in-person.

-Chris

2021 SSNCT Wrap-Up

Last Saturday, (online) nationals season kicked off with SSNCT, the Small School National Championship Tournament. As in years past, there were two divisions of competition (one for small public schools and an open division for private or charter schools). We congratulate Westmont of Illinois for winning the former and St. Mark’s School of Texas for winning the latter. But, as always, we’re primarily here to take a look at the Pennsylvania teams, and as always, they performed well on the big stage.

Stats can be found here.

In the Open division, the charge was led by Moravian Academy A, who more than justified their top-5 ranking in the state with an 11-3 record, good for a tied 5th-place finish (the third-highest for an open team in PA history). Divik continued his breakout season, notching 72 points per 20 tossups heard, which was eighth overall in that division. Angela and Eric also exceeded 20 points per game, and the team notched a total of three playoff victories. Friends Select also scored three playoff wins. They just barely made the playoffs with a 5-4 record on Saturday but turned it on in the playoffs and finished tied for 7th overall. Caden stood out with 20 powers for his team. Moravian B also competed, going 3-6. The program has many high-scoring underclassmen, so Moravian should continue to contend at SSNCT for years. Germantown Friends rounded out the PA cohort. Although they went 1-8, this team comprised mostly of freshman gained great experience and will surely be sharper in the future.

The lone Pennsylvanian entrant in the traditional public division was Bermudian Springs, making their nationals debut. They finished 3-6 with a junior-heavy roster. Zach led the team with 43 points per twenty. It’s been a while since a team from the York-Adams area played any pyramidal national, and it was good to see them improve throughout the day against tough competition.

As always, it’s a treat to see PA quizbowlers excel, and I’m glad we continue to have such strong nationals performances.

-Ben