Intro to Bible Quizzing: 1994

February 11, 2013

This video is a montage from a quizzing tournament in 2006. It was posted on YouTube by WhyteRavyne.

And in case you were wondering, Bible Quizzing is like Quiz Bowl, but for church kids.

Day in the Life

Me, Alicia, John, Justin, and Laura sit in a row on incredibly uncomfortable, cold metal folding chairs. The point is not comfort. We are poised on the brink of fame and notoriety. We are crouched in a position that is not unlike running takeoff posture. Everybody’s got their own style. John hangs on to the bottommost lace of his Chuck Taylor high top sneaker. He has asthma, and whenever I am next to him, I can hear his anticipatory wheeze at the end of each breath out. I feel badly for him. He is one of my only friends. I like to press on my red Chucks’s toes. Alicia looks bored, but she’s ready. Laura is a frightened rodent, long and lean and she can touch the floor with her reedy fingers, they splay next to her feet. Justin is also long and lean and seems to have become one giant muscle in the past few years. I remember him doughy. I have known him my whole life. Unlike the others, who are either new to our church or who I recruited. Justin grabs the backs of his ankles as he waits to leap.

We are on a raised platform in the front of a crowd of adults, mostly parents, aunts, uncles, and coaches. The coaches are distinct because they have clipboards. Some of them wear T-shirts that match those of their team. Our coaches are incognito in mom gear: cardigan sweaters, tennis visors, and coolers full of juice boxes and water bottles and tiny bags of Combos and apples and string cheese and granola bars.

My mom is not looking at me. I focus on the Quizmaster who’s at a table facing us at the front of the crowd, off the raised platform. He’s wearing an official, non-distracting gray T-shirt with the official Church of God logo, and holds a stop watch and has a stack of goldenrod ditto paper in front of him with a staple in the upper left-hand corner. The ditto paper is sealed with a paper sticker that the Quizmaster will cut ceremonially after the opening prayer, before the round begins. The whole business is somber and official.

There are 2” binders full of rules and regulations which rest in front of the woman next to the Quizmaster. A woman on the other side of the Quizmaster has a set of stopwatches, sharpened pencils, and score sheets. These three are employees of the church denomination, and impartial, and in charge or organizing the program. Two more volunteers, usually from the hosting church’s youth group or staff, have the same sealed stacks as the Quizmaster, but in different colors. They follow along as he reads the question, making sure everybody hears the questions and answers correctly.