Month: December 2016

GPQB 2016-2017 Mid-Season Poll

With the postponement of the Manheim Township tournament due to weather, we have reached the halfway mark in this competitive quizbowl season. We have more schools playing as vigorously as ever. For the first time in state history, no B teams got votes (let alone were ranked), which is a sign of outreach health and deep commitment to improvement. Our panel has met and voted, and here are your new Greater Pennsylvania Quizbowl Resource rankings:

1) Manheim Township, 77 points, 5 first place votes (=)
2) Lehigh Valley Academy, 74 points, 3 first place votes (+1)
3) Great Valley, 64 points (+1)
4) State College, 55 points (-2)
5) Alagar Homeschool, 44 points (=)
T6) Camp Hill, 35 points (+1)
T6) Delaware Valley, 35 points (+5)
8) Downingtown East, 28 points (+4)
9) Friends Select, 10 points (-3)
10) Winchester Thurston, 9 points (-3)

Also receiving votes: Lakeland (3), Wallenpaupack (3), Allderdice (1), Henderson (1), and Lancaster Mennonite (1)

Follow up commentary will be heading your way on the next edition of the GPQB podcast.

The Staff

The panelists for this poll were: Ryan Bilger, Paul Birch, Chris Chiego, Ben Herman, Brian McNamara, Alex Sankaran, Steven Silverman, and Bill Tressler

Tournament Updates for Spring 2017

A few notable changes have occurred to the regional tournament schedule:

– Manheim Township’s Academic Challenge was forced to move from today (Dec. 17th) to Jan. 28th due to snow and ice.
– Downingtown East’s Jan. 7th tournament is now completely full with a pretty decent waitlist.
– Norwin HS (east of Pitt) has added a tournament in February
– Wallenpaupack (in the Poconos) has added a tournament in late March

This has all definitely improved the geographic coverage of quizbowl tournaments in PA next semester, but there are still a few areas that could use more tournaments. The Pittsburgh area has nothing after mid-February and there’s not much going on in April other than Penn State’s tournament. Also, given that the Wissahickon and Philly City Champs are both going to be smaller tournaments, there’s room for a bigger one in SEPA too in late March or April.

I have heard rumblings out of Adams County about a potential tournament at Gettysburg College, but nothing definitive yet.

Still room for a couple of additional tournaments if schools wanted to host them–remember that it’s totally fine to run a smaller, locally-focused one of say 12-16 teams too. Let us know if you’re interested in hosting and we’re glad to help!

Quaker Fall Open II Wrap-Up


Downingtown West with the novice division championship trophy. 

36 schools from across Eastern Pennsylvania gathered at the University of Pennsylvania on Dec. 3rd for the 2nd annual Quaker Fall Open.

Full stats are available here.

Novice Division

  1. Downingtown West
  2. Manheim Township B
  3. Delaware Valley B
  4. Manheim Township C

The novice division saw 24 very competitive teams battling it out for a shot first at two balanced championship brackets and then the top 3 trophies. Downingtown West, which hadn’t attended a weekend pyramidal quizbowl tournament since Feb. 2014, came out hot and never let up, winning the championship over a strong group of underclassmen from Manheim Township B. D-West didn’t let their lack of pyramidal experience faze them with Andrew and Ben putting up strong PPGs; they should be quite competitive in future varsity divisions this year. Delaware Valley B defeated Manheim Township C to claim the 3rd place trophy and limit Manheim’s overall trophy haul to 2. Friends Select B, Great Valley C and D, and Downingtown East B rounded out the championship brackets.

A number of other schools made their pyramidal quizbowl debut and were impressive across the board. Haddon Township (NJ), paced by #1 individual scorer in the novice division Tim (94 PPG), put on a show en route to a +20 PPB and 5-3 overall record. It was neat to see a Camden County school from across the river and hopefully more will join us in PA in the future.

The buzzaroos of the Pope John Paul II team put up a strong balanced attack and notched one of the highest PPBs in the whole novice division. They defeated fellow novice MontCo team Hatboro-Horsham 280-250 in a close final round match to claim the best finish by a MontCo school in the division.

The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush made its debut with a pair of victories over both teams from Franklin Towne Charter and a close loss to fellow Philadelphia District school Science Leadership Academy (Center City). Both Rush and SLA were paced by strong individual performances from Matt and Jack, respectively, who both made the top 8 individuals in the novice division along with fellow Philadelphian Alexandra of Bodine. There’s a lot of young talent here in Philly (including the Friends Select teams, who found yet another solid new player in #6 overall scorer Aidan)  and much potential for them to keep improving in future years.

Finally, Bishop McDevitt, also at their first tournament, came away with a victory in their final round against Friends Select C.


Open Division

  1. Manheim Township A
  2. Great Valley A
  3. Lehigh Valley
  4. Delaware Valley (PA likes its valleys)

In the open division, the key match turned out to be Great Valley A‘s 370-365 victory over Lehigh Valley that ended up knocking LVA back to 3rd place while GV A advanced to the final to get hammered by a resurgent Manheim Township A. MT A may not be as balanced as in the past few years, but the one-two punch of Ahan and Shayar proved potent. Great Valley A was playing short a player, but led by their own dynamic duo of Sam and Daniel seemed to do a much better job managing their negs and finished alone in 2nd place. Meanwhile, all-world player Alex Schmidt of Lehigh Valley came within one TU (on Tu 13 I believe) of notching a grail against Great Valley B, but had to settle for a 235 point game instead and 182 PPG in the prelims.

Delaware Valley A finished alone in 4th with yet another balanced effort while Downingtown East A, led by the rapidly improving Jackie (80 PPG in the prelims), kept their games competitive but never quite surmounted the top 4 teams above them. Lakeland, making the longest drive of the field, ended up making the top bracket but struggled with some of the teams from further south.

Friends Select A, playing without their newfound phenom Rudyard (illness), came within 20 points of knocking off Delaware Valley A and making the top bracket, but had to settle for romping through the consolation bracket. Wissahickon B outplayed the Wissahickon A team while Carver HSES A knocked off Central Bucks East A twice amid a crowded bottom of the bracket.


Pope John Paul II didn’t win the tournament in their pyramidal quizbowl debut, but they do win the best nickname for a quizbowl team award for “Buzzaroos”

Overall I had a blast running this tournament and was thrilled with the quality of the teams across the board. Returning teams had definitely improved and the new teams definitely impressed. For instance, last year only 2 teams in the novice division broke 20 PPB on the SCOP set–this year, 7, including 3 new teams, did. The stage is set for an increasingly competitive SEPA quizbowl scene. See y’all at more tournaments around the area!