On Saturday, Quiz Bowl hosted its first OHIO Bowl — Occurrences, Heritage and Individuals of Ohio — competition, a team-based event with Ohio-themed trivia questions.
Kenyon’s Quiz Bowl team participates both in regional academic Quiz Bowl competitions and hosts its own informal trivia events on campus. The OHIO Bowl, created by Quiz Bowl President Casey Watkins ’24, focused primarily on questions about Ohio and the Midwest.
“I wanted to ask Ohio-themed questions, so I came up with an acronym for it,” Watkins said in an interview with the Collegian. “It’s not a real event. We go to real tournaments, but this one I made.”
Quiz Bowl questions generally cover subjects in science, history, English and other topics, according to Watkins. He originally joined Quiz Bowl at Kenyon because of his experience in Brain Bowl in middle school. “I’ve just really enjoyed being a part of that since my sophomore year. It wasn’t nearly as active during my first year because of [COVID-19], but it’s been really fun.” The club has coordinated or co-hosted multiple events this past semester, including K-Stem Trivia, History Advisory Board Trivia and the ACF WInter Interregional Competition in November.
Watkins wrote most of the OHIO Bowl questions over Thanksgiving break, so the event was easy to put together once students returned to campus. “It was mainly just making the posters and seeing if people showed up. We got a pretty good turnout,” he said.
He was particularly enthused about the event’s focus on the culture and history of Ohio. “Glory to the great state of Ohio,” he said. “You all chose to be here. So you can’t deny that.”
Freya Beinart ’24, a member of the winning team, was excited for the opportunity to test her knowledge with other residents of the Midwest. “It felt great. You know, it’s funny, because I’m a Hoosier, so from Indiana, but I grew up in Ohio for a little bit,” she said in an interview with the Collegian. “It was just a lot of fun. Our team was full of Ohio natives, so we had a good strategy.”
The competition was not a close one, with Beinart’s team dominating by a score of 380-205 and earning themselves an Ohio flag. Watkins’ favorite question he wrote was one about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in which the format of the answer given had to be stated as, “Dahmer, I hardly know her.” The question inspired a round of bonus questions in the same format.
To kick off next semester, Quiz Bowl is hosting a ‘Quiz Bowl goes Bowling’ event to encourage team bonding. They are also slated to participate in another academic event, as the current Quiz Bowl team has qualified for the International Quiz Bowl Tournament (IQBT) at Columbia University. They will be sending a team to compete on Jan. 20, 2024. After the success of OHIO Bowl, Watkins has more ideas for a future tournament. “Next semester, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to coordinate this,” he said. “But I really want to have a teacher tournament. I want to have professors playing Quiz Bowl against each other. That would probably be later in the semester, though.”