Feb. 6, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 10

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    Quiz whizzes take first in competition

    College team national champions in Quiz Bowl contest It had all the makings of a classic victory: an undefeated team, a fierce Ivy League competitor, a score tied at the buzzer ending regulation play, a thrilling overtime match and a final last-second score to win.

    Football? Basketball?

    Try a team that engages in a sport of a different sort: the College Bowl team, which defeated Harvard in overtime and topped 63 other squads to become the reigning champion of the first annual competition sponsored by the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, held in Philadelphia.

    This marks the first year of operation for the NAQT, which supports both intramural competitions and championship-level tournaments for colleges throughout North America. The NAQT is independent from College Bowl Inc., the major promoter of "quiz bowl"-style events in the United States.

    "The NAQT is very new, but many schools consider it to be the be the most legitimate of the national championship tournaments," said team member Mike Zarren, a second-year student in the College. "It would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that the U of C has the world champion quiz bowl team."

    The NAQT Championship Tournament featured questions covering many fields, including history, science, literature, current events, sports and popular culture.

    NAQT matches are played between two teams of four players in two nine-minute halves. Players "ring in" on an electronic buzzer system as questions are being read. If a question is answered successfully, the team earns points and a more detailed bonus question on which the team can confer before answering.

    "The Chicago team utilized good balance across all subject areas en route to their victory," said NAQT spokesperson Douglas Bone.

    Current members of the College Bowl team are, in addition to Zarren, team leader John Sheahan, a second-year law student, statistics graduate student Steve Wang and Christian Edstrom, a third-year student in the College.