Starting a quiz bowl team!

Starting up a team is not as difficult as it may seem at first: find interested players, look for an advisor with enough time to attend at least one practice a week and potentially one tournament per month, and get the club passed by the administration. An advisor can be any faculty member who does not have many other clubs to run, and the administration should be fine with the addition of an academic team if there is a room available in which the team can hold practices. As long as students are comfortable with educating their advisor on certain aspects of quiz bowl like the format or the tournament registration process, creating a team should not be very difficult. In addition, a successful team needs access to a working buzzer system (see the Anderson buzzer set for a high-quality system) and to questions available here or available for purchase on NAQT's website.


That said, actually stimulating interest in the club and finding tournaments to attend may be difficult for new teams. The best way to track interest in the club is to hold an introductory meeting after all paperwork has been signed, explaining the structure of the club and the commitment required to see results. Printing fliers and receiving feedback from new members will help potentially restructure the club to best suit the school environment. See a more in-depth guide to running practices and establishing a good reputation for a quiz bowl team here.


The next step is finding tournaments to go to, which may be problematic for new team; upcoming tournaments are hard to find since most announcements are only available on the Quiz Bowl Forums or on NAQT's website. However, after learning to navigate these websites, keeping track of upcoming tournaments should not be too difficult. In some instances, tournament directors also reach out to teams about registering for their upcoming tournaments. New teams are encouraged to attend tournaments as long as the field cap has not been reached, and some tournaments like Columbia Fall have a JV division for less competitive teams. Do note that when registering for tournaments, make sure that teams do not play the same set of questions again, since there are usually a few mirrors of a particular set (ex. a school in New York and a school in New Jersey may host a tournament using the same question set). Also, do not register teams until transportation and other logistics have been figured out, since there are sometimes drop fees for teams that cancel a few days before the tournament. A list of available tournaments can be found here.


Other tasks include allotting responsibilities to other team members like planning a budget for a team treasurer or registering for tournaments for a vice president, hosting practices, and providing other team members with resources to improve. Some regions of New York have other quiz bowl leagues as well (ex. Long Island has Regional Quiz Bowl [RQB]), so registering for those may take some time. Once these have been taking care of, the team should be good to go!