The University of Rochester's College Bowl, an organization of students that participate in quiz bowl competitions, will be testing their knowledge on the national stage this month.
The team was undefeated in the regional College Bowl championship, beating 13 other competitors in an area consisting of Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and all of New York state north of Westchester and Rockland Counties. The group will attend the nationals April 26 to 28 at Kansas State University, where they will compete against 15 other college teams. The team also will travel to the NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments) nationals April 5 and 6 at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the TRASH (Testing Recall About Strange Happenings) national tournament April 12 to 14 at the University of Michigan.
In quiz bowl competitions, teams race to be the first to answer questions correctly. In College Bowl and NAQT, the questions center on academic topics. TRASH questions, on the other hand, focus on pop culture topics such as movies, television, music, and sports.
This year's team includes sophomore and president Michael Adelman, graduate student Zachary Talarek, graduate student Fred Bush, senior Brendan Vaughn, freshman Lewis Powell, and freshman Micha Elsner. They are coached by a 1999 graduate of the University of Rochester, George Flevares.
The University of Rochester has had teams in regional College Bowl tournaments since early 1980, but only started participating in the other formats in the 2000-2001 season. The first tournaments of each year are held in September and continue through May.
This season, Rochester has competed with local schools such as Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Cornell University, St. John Fisher College, and SUNY Geneseo. They have also played against Case Western Reserve University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan, University of Western Ontario, Queen's University, and McMaster University.
Since September, members of College Bowl, which is also known as the "Thelion Society," a name borrowed from the license plate of one of its founders, have attended seven tournaments. "This is a fairly reasonable amount for any one team to attend," said Adelman, adding that each event has helped the team prepare for the upcoming national competitions.