Tufts’ Quiz Bowl team competes in intercollegiate championship

Disclaimer: Zachary Hertz is a managing editor of The Tufts Daily. He was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.

This past weekend, four members of Tufts Quiz Bowl traveled to Rosemont, Ill. to compete for the first time in the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (ICT). Senior Jay Naborn, junior Zachary Hertz, sophomore Jacob Arnstein and first-year William Scott competed in the tournament, which was organized by National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT).

Tufts placed 14th out of 32 institutions in the Division II tournament. Scott was the 22nd-highest individual scorer out of 122 competitors in Division II at ICT. The University of Chicago placed first in Division II and Yale University placed first in Division I.

The team qualified for ICT by first competing in the New England Sectional Championship Tournament (SCT) in February, where they placed second behind Harvard’s C Team in Division II, Arnstein said. According to Scott, since Tufts Quiz Bowl had never previously competed in SCT or ICT, they participated in Division II. Division II gives new teams an opportunity to play against one another, according to the NAQT website.

Naborn said the team had initially hoped to place in the top eight at ICT.

“After a couple of disappointing early-morning losses, we did a good job maintaining our confidence, encouraging each other to keep buzzing aggressively, and picked up some quality wins,” Naborn told the Daily in an email. “We ended up 14th in our division, which has to be considered a success for a young program like ours.”

The Tufts Quiz Bowl team knew that this tournament would be more difficult than anything they had faced before.

“We were expecting a challenge definitely. The competition is really steep. A lot of the teams have a lot of graduate students, people who have been playing for years,” said Arnstein.

Scott described the process of preparing for quiz bowl tournaments, which involves reviewing past questions, doing research and readings and individually trying to focus on certain fields of knowledge.

“As a team we try to specialize a little bit, so we have one player focus on history and another on science. I specialize in visual art and science … but we definitely all cover in each other’s areas sometimes,” Scott said.

Arnstein reflected on the experience and opportunity to represent Tufts at the national stage.

Tufts Quiz Bowl has come a long way in the past couple of years,” Arnstein said. “We have one senior, and when he started there were two people in the club. We never thought we’d make it to nationals.”

Scott explained take aways from the competition.

“It reaffirmed for all of us how much we like this and how worthwhile it is,” Scott said.

Naborn expressed his hopes for Tufts Quiz Bowl in the future.

“I’m confident that the future is very bright for Tufts Quiz Bowl,” Naborn said. “Enthusiasm is soaring, and I would encourage anyone who likes trivia to give Quiz Bowl a try. It’s a supportive environment where you always learn something cool and getting a chance to compete against other schools is a lot of fun.”

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