Philly City-Wide Novice Wrap-Up (11/2/19)

Ten teams from five schools in Philadelphia gathered at Carver HSES last Saturday to kick-off the quizbowl season in Philadelphia at the Philly City-Wide Novice tournament. Though many of the teams are familiar names, most of the students were making their quizbowl debuts on the very-accessible (although wordier-than-usual-on-the-bonuses) SCOP question set.

Full statistics are available here.

An all-Freshman team (FSS B) from Friends Select won the event, powered by the 77.78 PPG of Charlie, who may be the latest scion of a veritable quizbowl dynasty. The other FSS B players were quite solid as well and FSS looks, once again, to be undergoing the Quaker equivalent of “reloading” rather than rebuilding their team over the next few years. Coming in second was FSS A, an all-senior (yet new-to-quizbowl) group that was paced by Nyeema’s 46.67 PPG. In third (by a one-tossup head-to-head loss to FSS A) was Carver HSES A that also displayed the depth of Carver’s program as well as some aggressive buzzing tendencies (18 powers to 27 negs over 9 matches).

Coming in just outside the trophy tier was the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, who continued their tradition of finding solid generalists with Elijah’s 66.11 PPG. Their run was highlighted by a 200-170 win over Franklin Towne Charter, who finished just behind Rush at 5th and brought a large number of novice players and observers that formed a rotating all-around cast. Behind them came FSS C, composed of 8th graders (!), and then the B and C teams from Carver HSES. Though they finished with only 3 wins, Carver C did notch an impressive 290-125 upset over FSS A. Rounding out the field was Bodine A and B, coached enthusiastically by both their regular coach and their returning senior Alex.

Although no new #phled schools were able to make it to the event this year, hopefully more schools will be ready to go in time for the City Championships in March to join the young talent on display at this event as well as the returning veterans from each school.

3rd-Annual Philadelphia City Championship Wrap-Up


Members of the Friends Select A team with their first-place trophy.

Eighteen teams from seven schools in Philadelphia gathered in Center City on Saturday for the 3rd-annual Philadelphia City Championships. Though some schools mysteriously dropped off the map this year or had conflicts on the day of the tournament, the schools who stuck with it expanded the depth of their programs and often brought many teams. With several middle school teams getting more experience as well, the future of quizbowl throughout Philadelphia looks reasonably bright.

Full stats are available here.


The top 5 individual scorers from the prelim rounds with their book prizes.

In the championship bracket, Friends Select continued their dominance of the city circuit with their top three teams taking the top three trophies. This wasn’t the result of just magical improvement by osmosis or base knowledge; core FSS A team members Jake and Richard have dramatically improved from their first experience on a NAQT IS-A set 2.5 years ago by hard work, studying and playing as much as possible along with their teammates. And members of the FSS B and FSS C teams have also steadily improved after pretty much every tournament they’ve played, with the B team in particular looking quite formidable. Even after graduation this year and the departure of founding coach Abbi Smith (whom we we all greatly miss, even if Delaware isn’t that far away), FSS looks well-stocked to continue on their march to dynasty status.

The Carver HSES A team took 4th after losing several close matches, including a tiebreak match with FSS C where they fell by only 5 points. The emergence of Aidan (44 PPG in the prelims), only a sophomore, as the team’s go-to scorer bodes well for their future, though the improvement of Mohammed (24 PPG throughout the day) was also key to Carver’s success this year. Science Leadership Academy’s A team came into this tournament with high hopes for a trophy, but despite Jack’s (64 PPG) all-star performance they lost their 2nd-leading scorer Gavin for the afternoon and fell to Carver A and the FSS teams in the playoff rounds. SLA A did, however, give FSS A their closest match of the day and returns an increasingly large group of talent. The championship bracket was rounded out by Bodine, whose team had an impressive 10 powers in the playoffs (only behind FSS A and B) and capped off their season with a solid win over Carver A. They’ll certainly be in the mix for the city championship next year with the complementary duo of Alex and Raquel at the helm.

The first consolation bracket ended in a three-way tie between Carver HSES B, Rush Arts A, and FSS D (a middle school team). Carver B had a well-balanced attack and boasted an impressively high PPB (higher than Carver A’s), but suffered a close loss to FSS D on one of the tougher packets of the tournament. FSS D (MS) had a fairly wild tournament with 5 matches decided by 50 points or less; these middle schoolers showed great poise playing high school teams on high school-level questions and Oscar (37 PPG) will be one to watch for next year. Rush A was paced by a strong 50 PPG from Matt and was the only team to play and defeat all 3 middle schools teams over the course of the tournament. Carver’s C team also saw several of its rotating cast of young members make improvements in their PPG. SLA B and SLA C rounded out the middle bracket with particularly strong performances from Naima (6 powers, 49 PPG) on SLA B and Stella (34 PPG) on SLA C.

The lower bracket saw the two Franklin Towne Charter teams continuing their semi-regular tradition of their B team narrowly besting their A team as both did well in their afternoon bracket. FSS E (MS) was another impressive middle school team and Furness made a welcome re-appearance on the circuit as well. Furness also notably improved their PPB from 4.4 in the morning to 8.9 in the afternoon and capped off their day with a two-game winning streak. Carver D (MS), in less than a month or two of existence, notched a victory over Franklin Towne B but lost themselves to Rush Arts B, who rounded out the bracket.


Members of the Bodine and Rush Arts A teams shake hands after their match.

It was another great day of academic competition for the students of Philadelphia and we hope that more schools will join (or re-join in the case of Central, Franklin Learning Center, Masterman, and Palumbo) the academic fun and challenge next year.


Philly Fall Tournament Wrap-Up (11/11/17)

36 teams from across the Greater Philadelphia area converged on Center City, Philadelphia Saturday for the Philly Fall Invitational, jointly hosted by Friends Select School and Carver HSES at Friends Select’s campus.

Full stats are available here.


The winning duo from D-STEM A. Image via Twitter.

Open Division

Downingtown STEM A swept the field and finished with an unblemished 10-0 record, triumphing in an unusual 2 vs. 2 final against Wilmington Charter A. Propelled by Vishwa’s impressive 118 PPG (note that he actually averaged more points in the playoffs than in the prelims!) and Anish’s solid backing, STEM took on a tough (and somewhat uneven) Harvard Fall question set and was the only team in the field to finish above 20 PPB. Charter, playing somewhat shorthandedly as well, saw the continued emergence of Waley as a star player and excellent complement to A-team anchor Sohum. Great Valley A finished in 3rd, with a sterling performance from last year’s GPQB player-of-the-year Sam (26 powers to only 6 negs) counterbalanced by a consistent neg trend. GV averaged nearly 4 negs a match and barely broke even on the Power to Neg ratio. Downingtown East A finished in 4th, led as usual by Jackie’s strong generalist knowledge, and also picked up some solid assistance from Zach (28.9 PPG). Though they came close to knocking off Charter A, they had a harder time with their in-district rivals at STEM. Friends Select’s house team played with only half of their usual A-team (since FSS quite smartly chose to focus on prioritizing making sure the tournament ran efficiently by having their best readers read instead of play), allowing a rotating cast of A-team hopefuls to get some good experience. Henderson A made the top bracket as well, but isn’t quite ready yet to take back their place atop the Chester County hierarchy at this time.

Great Valley showcased tremendous depth throughout this tournament with their B, C, D, and E teams all finishing in the middle consolation bracket. With good coaching and a stable program in place for several years now, reinforcements from a burgeoning middle school program are helping to replenish and expand the ranks of GV teams this year and likely in future years. A young Penn Manor team continued its long-term expedition forth from the Lancaster-Lebanon League, highlighted with a 345-155 win over a balanced Downingtown STEM B team that came close to making the top bracket.

Wissahickon A, making their season debut, won the 2nd consolation bracket by a fairly large margin. Moorestown Friends, after a year’s hiatus from the circuit, returned and was led by a solid 40 PPG performance from Kayla. Science Leadership Academy A, playing up in the open division for the first time, had several close losses to GV B and Henderson A before finishing alongside Moorestown Friends (whom they beat in a close 200-195 match). Henderson’s enterprising B team, Carver’s house team, and Lancaster Mennonite (unusual but interesting to see several LL teams but not Manheim Township–who was down in Baltimore dogfighting with the DC circuit this weekend–at a tournament).


Clockwise from the top: Haverford, D-East, and Middlesex County A. Image via Instagram.

Novice Division

Though they lacked their signature red-and-gold bowties, Haverford High school made a big impression in only their 2nd-ever pyramidal tournament of the past few years by winning the novice division and displaying some outstandingly deep knowledge in doing so. Though they have some knowledge gaps due to their relative quizbowl inexperience, they can go on impressive runs of powers and 30s that show just what  some of the other Delaware County Hi-Q schools might be capable of if they chose to play quizbowl. Downingtown East B, paced by a balanced attack with all of its players averaging 29 PPG or higher, showed that the future of D-East should be bright. D-East B’s only losses were to Haverford and they had an impressive 200-point win over Wilmington Charter B in the prelims. Middlesex County A (NJ), another young team recovering from several major graduations last year, was able to knock off Haverford in the first round but then got upset by their B team in the playoffs and finished just out of the finals. Downingtown STEM C and Middlesex B were also both freshman-dominated teams who seemed happy to make the top playoff bracket but then had a harder time. Prathik (MCA B) and Abhsenk (MCA A) both topped 50 PPG, so with their powers combined MCA should be set for the future and we welcome more NJ teams to come over to our tournaments in PA.

The middle consolation bracket was won by Bodine, where star sophomore Alex (60 PPG) is now complemented by an impressive newcomer in Raquel (42 PPG). Though they could stand to work on adding some more depth (only 6 powers), Bodine was only a tossup cycle away in 2 games from breaking into the championship bracket. Church Farm School made their quizbowl debut in solid fashion, getting a tough introduction from the B teams of Charter and D-East before settling down to finish high in their consolation bracket. Wissahickon B capped off their day with a nice 255-250 victory over a balanced Charter C team. FSS B, also rotating through a cast of newer players, romped through the lower consolation bracket thanks to the 65+ PPG of Hannah, while the rest of the bracket was filled out by new players from the many of the other Philadelphia schools including Franklin Towne, Rush Fine Arts, and even more of Science Leadership Academy, many of whose players were making their quizbowl debuts.

Fortunately for the novice players, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak set (written by veteran quizbowl coach and writer Bill Tressler) was very accessible, particularly on the tossups. The tossups were designed around being covertable but still had challenging lead-ins, and there were a number of clues that tried to tie in current events and recent pop culture. There were some list-like clues and a few pronoun/plural issues, but most of those have been marked to get corrected and didn’t detract from the overall accessibility of the set at all. I would highly encourage other schools interested in a set that I felt was slightly harder than SCOP Novice on the bonuses but easier than NAQT IS-A sets on the tossups to use it (and its future sequels!) in your area.


2017 Philadelphia City Championships Wrap-Up

This year, 10 schools from the city of Philadelphia gathered for the city-wide championships, which also double as an IU tournament and qualifier for the PA state tournament in Harrisburg. This is twice the number of schools as last year’s city champs and was the capstone for a year’s worth of explosive growth in participation in Pennsylvania’s largest city. Friends Select School played host and their Center City building provided an accessible and convenient location for the festivities.

Here are the final standings and complete individual stats for the day.
[updated w/nationals qualifiers]


City champions Friends Select A, at ease before the finals games. From L to R: Rudyard, Jake, Richard, and Emma.

Friends Select A took home the title for the second year and will be going to Harrisburg as Philly’s representative. They were the unquestioned statistical leaders of the tournament, as their PPB (points-per-bonus) was four points above the nearest other team and their 41 powers (extra points for correct early buzzes) were more than twice that of any other team. We knew this team would be good after Richard and Jake went an impressive 4-6 at last year’s HSNCT, but the addition of Rudyard and his immense “real knowledge” has multiplied their early-buzz force. This junior-heavy team is completing quite the season and only loses pop culture specialist Emma next year. Friends Select’s B, C, and D teams also dominated as the school ended up with four of the six playoff bracket spots available. Other schools will have their work cut out for them against this deep roster of teams in the future.

Carver HSES A took second place, undefeated except for their final two loses to Friends Select A (completing a best-of-three final without need for a third game). In an ending a bit reminiscent of a video game, they had to play Friends Select D, C, B, and A in that order and made it to the “final boss” before yielding. They put on one of the most enthusiastic shows around, vigorously buzzing and collecting for spirited pep talks from Coach Shan Hogan. Carver’s teams (I read for both A and B) also play very smart–though they’re not a top-tier team at the state level statistically just yet, they do not make bad negs, they communicate well on bonuses, and they constantly encourage each other and high-five after good buzzes. This allows them to consistently punch above their weight and makes them a blast to read for. Their B team also earned several impressive wins throughout the day (including one over Masterman A) and showed a great deal of growth over the past few tournaments.


Carver A receives advice from Coach Hogan before a match.

Central took the last remaining playoff berth. They went 5-4 on the day but did so against a brutal schedule. Though Central lacks an all-around power player outside of Marley (who had to leave in the afternoon, somewhat lowering their final PPB), all of their team scored well and they seem to get wins in a workmanlike fashion. Bodine and Rush finished tops in the Middle bracket. They were lead by the tournament’s second and first overall scorers, respectively. Bodine’s Alexandra, just a freshman, is going to be a top-flight player very soon, as she scores in volume and just needs to push up the power rate and focus during some rounds. Meanwhile, Rush deployed something of a secret weapon in Tara, who blasted 72 points per game in her first pyramidal invitational and consistently improved throughout the day. Awesome job by both.

The back end of the tournament contained a lot of newer or first time entrants from the city: Masterman, the Academy at Palumbo, and Furness all played their first quizbowl tournaments and each came away with at least one win. Franklin Learning Center and Franklin Towne Charter also returned and saw FLC win the battle of the Franklins by a combined 25 points over both FTC teams. It was good to see all of these teams participating and learning in this local environment; I saw some good buzzes from them and with continued regular events in the city, they will all improve in no time.

Overall, this was a nice example of how state qualifier/IU tournaments can run on good questions, use a fair format that allows teams to play many games (rather than just 1 or 2), and cater to teams of all levels of ability. The tournament was wrapped up before 3 PM and some teams finished as early as 2:15 or so. High School quizbowl in Philadelphia is rising and has so much potential, and we look forward to seeing its continuing development in future years!


Franklin Learning Center vs. Academy at Palumbo, which occurred in round 5. Palumbo won a close match, 170-145.

-Ben Herman

Tri-State Tournament @ Friends Select Wrap-Up

15 quizbowl teams gathered at Center City campus of Friends Select School in Philadelphia for the first Tri-State Tournament. Although all the teams ended up being from PA, the competition was fierce and both divisions ended with hard-fought finals.

Full stats and standings are available here.


Lancaster Mennonite with their first-place Varsity-division trophy.

In the Varsity division, Lancaster Mennonite faced off against Friends Select A over the course of the tournament in a hard-fought (but very peaceful) series of 4 matches for Mennonite vs. Quaker supremacy. After Mennonite took the first match by 40 points, FSS battled back and won the second match in overtime. Mennonite then dropped their final regular match to Great Valley C, which gave FSS the advantage over Mennonite in the first game of an advantaged final (meaning that FSS only needed to win one game to win, Mennonite needed to win two). But Mennonite’s Brandon Roe then pulled out a 130-point, 6-5-2 performance to force a final deciding game that Mennonite won (thanks in part to 3 timely powers by Jacob C.). Both teams amassed a considerable number of powers (61 and 62) respectively over the course of the tournament, but FSS A’s Achilles heel was likely its 41 neg-5s over the course of the tournament (including 8 in the finals games).


Science Leadership Academy with their first-place Novice-division trophy.

In the Novice division, a full-strength Science Leadership Academy (SLA) notched its first-ever quizbowl tournament win, first winning a statistical tiebreak over Friends Select D and Great Valley D after all finishing the opening round-robin with two losses and then defeating Friends Select C in a disadvantaged final over the course of two straight games to walk away with the first-place trophy. Interestingly, FSS C’s only loss earlier in the day had been to SLA, meaning that SLA won 3 times (the first two by a difference of only 1 TU) over FSS C to win. Both teams were paced by a balanced group of scorers, and SLA ended up with a solid 15.19 PPB and 24 powers over 10 games.

In the rest of the varsity division, Great Valley B and C showcased the ever-increasing depth of the Great Valley team (their A team was competing against college teams at a nearby tournament at the same time) while Carver A and FSS B navigated moving up from novice competitions to the varsity level.

With the novices, Friends Select D actually had better stats than their C team, but were a bit less experienced and lost head-to-head. Bodine, though lacking their top scorer from 2 weeks ago, was paced by a strong all-around performance from Alexandra T. (who finished 3rd in individual scoring and first in the novice division) and capped their day with an upset over SLA. Wissahickon took the train in from MontCo with a group of novices, Carver B played a large group of freshmen, and Franklin Towne A and B both continued to bring new members to compete.

Overall, it sounded like an outstanding day of competition with the round-robins finishing around 3 PM and the final tiebreaks and finals finishing by 4:30 PM. Excellent work by all teams and major thanks to FSS for hosting (and providing pictures).

-Chris Chiego

Carver Novice Tournament Wrap-Up (10/8/2016)

Twelve novice teams gathered at the Carver HS of Engineering and Science in North Philadelphia today for the kick-off to high school quizbowl in Pennsylvania this season.

Full stats are available here.

Great Valley A put on an impressively disciplined performance to top Friends Select A for the championship. Great Valley C defeated a team from Downingtown East for 3rd place.

The championship match was a treat to read and watch. You wouldn’t know it by the way they played, but GV A consisted of two freshmen and a sophomore. They handled bonuses like experienced pros, with one player always reminding the others what was being asked for, and took calculated risks on the tossups. In contrast, FSS A played a much more go-for-broke, fast-paced style that reminded me of intense NAQT games played on the clock. This led to FSS A leading the field in both powers (42) and negs (28). It was an interesting clash of styles where GV A ultimately prevailed this time, but it seems likely that we’ll see both teams back in championship games in the future.

The Rest of the Playoff Bracket

After graduating practically every member of their team, a new set of Central HS players (sadly lacking their signature crimson cardigans this early in the year) made the upper bracket and displayed pockets of deep knowledge in literature especially. The upper bracket was rounded out by Great Valley B, whose day was highlighted by a 200-pt romp over Downingtown East. D-East also put in a solid performance throughout the day with balanced scoring and consistency on the bonuses. And Great Valley C added to the complement of GV freshmen who will soon be romping around the circuit for four more years.

The Consolation Bracket

Science Leadership Academy‘s team, although shorthanded, saw all of its members contribute and won the consolation bracket with a 5-3 record. Bodine HS made their quizbowl debut with a solid 4-4 performance. Powered by the impressive U.S. History knowledge of Jalen (30 PPG, 8 powers) as well as solid contributions from all of its rotating members, Bodine’s newness to quizbowl was mostly eclipsed by their overwhelming enthusiasm. Friends Select B fielded an all-freshman team that also signifies their increasing depth and development as a program. Once their middle school team gets started up this year, Center City will have its first official quizbowl pipeline. Franklin Towne Charter‘s A and B teams also displayed enthusiasm and were notably lacking some of their better returning players from last year. And Carver‘s own house team was a great example of how a few older, experienced players can be a great asset in showing freshmen the ropes of the game.

General Thoughts

Carver hosted the best-run tournament that I’ve ever seen from a first-time host. 9 rounds (plus a rebracketing meeting + lunch) were completed by 2:50 PM. That is outstanding. It was also a great tournament from a moderator’s perspective as well. The little things and attention to detail helped–emailing detailed information + maps well before the tournament, sending bottled water to the mods after the 2nd round, getting lunch orders set and assembled on time, and running a calm and orderly control room. It all summed up to an efficient and enjoyable experience for everyone. It’s too bad that many teams from around the region couldn’t make it; I hope they’ll make sure to pencil in the next Carver tournament (and more upcoming tournaments in Philly like Friends Select’s on Oct. 22nd).

All of the infectious enthusiasm today bodes really well for the health of the Philly-centered circuit as well. So many new players will hopefully now go back and look up all the answers that they missed in Quinterest and get to work learning those tricky fine arts questions (perhaps with the help of NAQT’s You Gotta Know Lists). But most importantly, I saw a lot of support from coaches who seem willing to take advantage of the flowering of competitions in the area. Most teams seem to be doing the right thing in focusing on building up a quizbowl program at their school first and foremost. Once you have a strong core of a program in place with lots of enthusiastic participants and sufficient logistical support, you can focus on preparing teams to top the competition.

Finally, the question set itself was the first tournament of the year to use our very own Pennsylvania Novice question set, written by various college players from around PA and edited by the GPQB staff. If you have any specific comments about the set itself or any questions in it, please email us at We’re looking to use what we learned today to revise and continue to edit the set to make it the best possible novice quizbowl experience for new teams and players!


Philadelphia City Quizbowl Championship Wrap-Up

The first-ever Philadelphia City Quizbowl championships took place on Saturday, March 12th at Friends Select School in Center City and finished with Friends Select School (FSS) A going undefeated to take the championship over FSS B, which finished as the runner-up. Carver HSES A grabbed the third-place trophy (and top public school bragging rights) and Central High School B the fourth-place trophy. The field consisted of 12 teams from five different schools from across Philadelphia. Full stats are available here.

FSS B (left) and FSS A (right) just before the final match with their coaches Abbi Smith (standing on the left) and Ian Lockey (sitting, back row at right). FSS A won decisively to clinch the championship.

This was a great day for all of the teams and players at the tournament, but with a nearly 400-point average margin of victory FSS A clearly showed that they are the class of the city this year. FSS A’s all-senior team will represent Philadelphia at Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition in April and will make Philadelphia’s national championship debut at the HSNCT in Dallas in May. Going from having never picked up a buzzer to one of the top teams in the state in less than 6 months is quite an accomplishment and a testament to both FSS A’s raw firepower (check out their power rate!) and quick study ability.

FSS B turned in a strong performance to finish as the runner-ups with a short-handed team. Both of FSS B’s “twin towers”–Jake and Richard–are underclassmen and bring history and geography heft as well as unusually strong music knowledge to the table. The key match in the race for 2nd place was FSS B’s extremely close 275-265 win over Carver HSES A in which FSS B’s strong bonus conversion won out. That victory put FSS B in the driver’s seat and an undefeated record until they faced FSS A.


Carver HSES A posing with their third-place trophy.

Carver HSES A bagged yet another trophy (their 3rd of the year) with a 3rd-place finish. They’re anchored by a triple threat from William, Su, and Dalya who all defend their categories well and play balanced, disciplined quizbowl. Dalya in particular has stepped up and improved throughout the year, and both she and Collins–their seniors–will be missed. Fortunately, Carver has a good supporting cast to build on for next year, especially from their improving B team.


(Roughly left-to-right) Central D, Central B, and Central A with their coach, Avi Hockfield, and Central B’s 3rd-place trophy.

The four Central HS teams once again turned in strong performances. In what has become a surprising tradition at every tournament so far this year, Central B finished ahead of Central A and in 4th place overall by winning their head-to-head match. Central C and D also had better-than-expected performances and all four teams demonstrated impressive depth for a school that just started playing quizbowl in October. Although we have not seen it yet, it would be quite interesting to see a Central team with its top 4 players–probably some combination of Gabe, Owen, Ella, Wylie, Danny, and Anna– all at once (there’s still time and tournaments if they want to make it happen!). Most of Central’s teams are senior-heavy, so they’ll have a bit of rebuilding to do next year.

In the consolation bracket, FSS C ran the table against the opposition to win the bracket (the stats don’t clearly show it, but they were 5-0 in the bracket) over Central C, Carver B, and the teams from Franklin Towne Charter and Science Leadership Academy (SLA). Franklin Towne and SLA are both very young teams of almost entirely freshmen and sophomores who are just starting out with both quizbowl and high school as well. This should be a great learning experience for them and I was pleased to see that every team left with a win.

A number of new players in the Consolation bracket made some impressive quizbowl debuts as well. FSS C’s Jasper was originally going to scorekeep, but decided to play instead at the last minute and put up an excellent 63 PPG. Central C’s Anna also did well with 6 powers and 28.75 ppg despite a strong shadow effect from Owen; SLA lost their lead-scorer from QFO but added the 21 PPG of Jack; and Christian from Franklin Towne A averaged over 20 PPG in his quizbowl debut.

One of the most impressive things that I saw yesterday is just how much teams and players have improved from even a few months ago. Carver A for instance went from 11.3 Points-Per-Bonus in December to 15.3 yesterday and Friends Select A’s PPB  similarly increased from 21.48 to 24.15. Those increases came in just 3 months of studying! Any team can get good at this game and it’s great to see that teams have been taking advantage of quizbowl’s copious free study resources to improve so quickly.

As an added bonus, an ABC 6 TV camera crew stop by for what turned out to be the de-facto 3rd place match between Carver A and Central B. Check out some fuzzy videographic evidence here.

All in all, this tournament marked a huge step forward for quizbowl–and intellectual curiosity and friendly academic competition in general–in Philadelphia. The coaches are awesome for taking time out of their extremely busy lives to come and support their teams along with a good number of  proud parents. Major thanks to the superb moderator group that we had: Bill Tressler, Bern McCauley, Ben Herman, Eric Mukherjee, and Ian Lockey plus several guest-mods from FSS. And a particularly huge thanks to Abbi Smith at Friends Select who poured tons of time and effort into helping to organize this event.

I am very, very excited about the direction of quizbowl in Philadelphia. I look forward to seeing all these players next year at both high school and college tournaments along with a whole new crop of players, teams, and schools from every neighborhood in Philly!

Announcement: The First-Ever Philadelphia City Quizbowl Championship

The First-Ever Philadelphia City Championships will be held at Friends Select School on Saturday, March 12, 2016. The winner of this event will represent Philadelphia at the state championships in late April in Harrisburg. Here are the full logistical details:

Friends Select School
1651 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19103

FSS is almost directly across the street from SEPTA’s Suburban Station and easily accessible by various trolley, subway, and rail lines.

Field Update (as of 3/7/16):
Franklin Towne Charter (2)
Science Leadership Academy (1)
Friends Select School (2)
Carver E&S (2)
Central (3)

Field: 10 teams (full round-robin)

March 12th, 2016

Teams should arrive between 8:15 and 8:30 AM for a pre-tournament meeting, with rounds beginning by 9 AM. There will be a short lunch break and the tournament will conclude in the afternoon. The exact location of the pre-tournament meeting will be emailed out to teams that register.

Eligible Teams:
All high schools within the City of Philadelphia are eligible to send teams to compete. Each team consist of up to 6 students, with 4 students playing at any time. Teams may consist of fewer than 4 students as well.

$65 for each initial team from a school
$50 for each additional team from a school
-$10 per working lockout buzzer set brought

Questions Used:
NAQT IS-155A (see a sample packet of this difficulty level)


The exact format will depend on the number of teams, but will likely consist of a series of pooled round robins, with about 5 rounds in the morning and 3-4 in the afternoon.

Each team will be placed in round-robin pools in the morning, with the top finishers in each pool advancing to a championship bracket and all other teams advancing to a consolation bracket against teams of similar records in the afternoon. Win-Loss records within a bracket, points-per-game within a bracket, and points-per-bonus will be used, in that order, to break ties.

To win the championship, a team must win by at least 2 games. If two teams are tied with the same record within the championship bracket, a one-game championship match will be held. If one team is one game ahead of the other team, an advantaged final will be played between the top two teams. If two teams are tied for 2nd, a half-match of 10 tossups will be held to determine the team that advances. If there is a 3-way tie, then the tie will be broken with half-matches of 10 tossups each.

To Register:

Click here to fill out this form.

Need some help in setting up a quizbowl team at your school? Check out the “Quizbowl Essentials” link on the right-hand side of this site or leave a comment on this post.