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Plano West Quiz Bowl Qualifies for National Competition

December 11, 2020

Plano West quiz bowl (also known as whiz quiz) teams coached by Plano West teacher Dr. Phillip Stager, are the district high school whiz-quiz champions and the high school whiz-quiz runner up, winning both first and second place at the competition. This win qualifies the championship team to move to the next level of competition which is the high school national championship (HSNCT), the most prestigious quiz-bowl tournament for high school competitors. The competition is scheduled for May 28-30, 2021 and is hosted by the National Association of Quiz Tournaments (NAQT).

Quiz bowl is a competition of questions and answers, played by teams with buzzers. The common thread is intellectual curiosity and a love of competition. Questions are read, and players buzz in (without consulting team mates) when they think they know the answer. If they give a correct answer, they earn points plus a bonus question in which they can work with their team to earn additional points. Questions cover a wide range of academic topics plus pop culture, sports, and current events. 85% of the questions in quiz bowl competition are focused on the academic subjects of science, literature, history, fine arts, geography, philosophy and the social sciences.

Quiz bowl participants spend much time in practice and study, and they are passionate about the competitions. Congratulations to these winning Plano West quiz-bowl team members:

District Champions

  • Siddharth Bapat, officer, “Quiz bowl provides an opportunity to join an engaging community, interact with students who share similar interests, and is a great way to kick back and relax after school!”
  • Claire Charton, officer, “Quiz bowl is perfect in that it creates a tight-knit group bonded by the shared love of learning. It encourages and rewards curiosity in the best way possible.”
  • Matthew Lin, “Quiz bowl is a great way to encourage learning through exciting competition. Additionally, the team format provides opportunities to bond with friends and improve one’s collaboration skills.”
  • Akshay Shyam, president, “I love quiz bowl because it rewards everyone’s individual curiosities and fuels a competitive spirit that encourages everyone to constantly improve.”
  • Alex Zeng, officer      

District Runners Up

  • Vishnuu Gopi, “Quiz bowl rewards curiosity and a desire to learn, and serves as a path to learn more while demonstrating what you already know.
  • Shardul Parthasarathy, “Quiz bowl is a great way for me to showcase what I know and what I learn. I really like skill-based sports and quiz bowl is more than just a club; it's more than just a pastime hobby; it's something I feel very passionate about and something which I want to make an effort to get better at. Quiz bowl has been a big part of me these last few years, and I deeply love and enjoy the game.”
  • Devaditya Ray, “Quiz bowl has been a constant in my life over the past few years and helped me during my move to Plano. No matter where the organization is, it is filled with welcoming members and people with unique interests. It encourages students to branch out and explore something new, while furthering their strengths. Joining is a great way to build teamwork skills and work towards a cause bigger than yourself.”
  • Milla Wenick, “Quiz bowl allows players to specialize in their interests.”

Plano West Quiz Bowl Team Members

Since 1999, Plano West quiz bowl has a long history of winning. They have been the district champions since 2017, and in 2018, Plano West became the first and only Plano ISD team to win the national competition. This year’s district champions are planning to come home winners as well.

“I am very proud of these students. To excel at this competition requires a broad depth of knowledge. Students play to their strengths, so it’s all about the team. Most students begin competing in whiz quiz in middle school, and they all enjoy the thrill of buzzing in FIRST with the correct answer. All of our players at Plano West have worked extra hard this year during our virtual practice sessions in order to stay competitive and have a viable “shot” at the national championship once again. I cannot even begin to put into words the resiliency of these students and their level of determination. Whiz quiz competition has become part of our culture at Plano West since the school opened in 1999, and we want to continue to promote its success for as long as possible,” said Coach Stager.