Quiz Bowl taking strides for a bright future


Trisha Atluri

Coppell junior Quiz Bowl co-captain Vishal Sivamani studies for a tournament. The Quiz Bowl team qualified for the Pace National Scholastic Championship this year which will take place in Virginia and the HSNCT National Championship which will be located in Atlanta this year.

Rithik Chennupati, Writer

The Quiz Bowl team formed at Coppell High School  three years ago by junior co-captain Vishal Sivamani.

“This year we had to reach out and focus more on getting students that were going to be incoming freshmen,” CHS junior co-captain Raymond Zhang said. “We want to pass down leadership to our sophomore team and just keep the quiz bowl club going through them.”

Quiz Bowl is a game in which two teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports and more. There are individual tournaments as well as team tournaments. In the team setting each team has four members and answers questions based on provided clues. Questions increase in difficulty and a team can get points depending on difficulty and time taken to answer.

Sivamani started the team his seventh grade year at Coppell Middle School West and was the fifth scorer out of around 80 at his first tournament and brought his team to the national bid round where they lost to Parish Episcipol which was the 20th ranked team in the country and located in Dallas, Texas. When Sivamani started the club, he wanted to make sure it had room to grow through the years. Keeping that goal in mind, Sivamani started the club at CHS with friends from middle school who competed with him.

“We started the club with members that competed at the middle school level so we knew we had a good start to our club,” Sivamani said. “Now that I look back on it I am glad we did that because it gave us more of a solid base.”

According to Sivamani, it is hard to find someone who knows all of the events well because of the number of topics the competition includes. The club does not look specifically for students who simply get good grades but students who have a genuine passion for learning. 

“Even though right now our core group is in AP classes or IB; we care more about what the student can offer,” Sivamani said. “If the student cares about learning and also has an aptitude for a [specific] topic then that is more important than if they make the highest grade possible.”

Since the team was founded, it has grown significantly, allowing it to compete at a higher level. The team started with smaller practices and expanded as more people gained more interest in the club, then the team qualified for nationals after its first  year in seventh grade and the entire program gained a bit of recognition. It has continued to grow.

“When we started the program we realized it would be hard to get it to where it is at now but we are happy with the progression that we are seeing,” Sivamani said. “It is our whole team’s responsibility to try to learn as much as we can in the next few months and by doing so we can try to achieve our goals this year.” 

For the second semester of school, the club wants to get a 45 minute practice everyday after school to increase its knowledge. To study for these various topics, students in the club read textbooks. 

“This semester, we have started off alright in practices but look to improve more as the next few weeks of practice go on,” Sivamani said. “With the team we have now, we will be able to reach our goals of going 6-4 record at the national tournament to make the elimination rounds which are double elimination.”

Last year, the team lost important players because some students graduated middle schoolers who transferred to other schools. Even with this they look to make a push in the playoffs as they are going to the HSNCT National Tournament which will be hosted in Atlanta, Georgia in late May

According to Sivamani, it’s been a slow build, but they worked to become a program with notoriety and now they want to expand it to give as many people as possible the chance to compete at the national level and learn more about the world around them. 

“This year the guys who come to the practices are starting to specialize in their specific section,” said assistant coach Abdullah Akbar, who is a freshman at UT-Dallas and former St. Mark’s School of Texas Quiz Bowl team captain. “It is not as hard to study as some people may think. It is just about learning and acquiring knowledge from different sources which can be fun especially with [the] group of people we have on the team this year.”


Follow Rithik (@rithikc11) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.