Scholars’ Bowl, Categories teams enjoyed successful year, looking to gain new members for ’13-’14 school year

Danielle Williams, Entertainment Editor

What is the oldest U.S. national park, located east of the Mississippi River?
If the hypotenuse of a 30-60-90 degree triangle is 14 cm long, what is the perimeter of the triangle?
With regard to television display, what is the meaning of the acronym HD?
Identify the pop/country recording artist who hit the charts in with “Since U Been Gone.”
These are the sorts of questions Blue Valley’s Scholars Bowl and Categories team answer during practices and competitions.
Scholars Bowl and Categories coach, Adam Wade, is celebrating the recent success of both of his teams.
In Scholars Bowl, every round is sixteen questions, so Wade said rounds can be pretty short. They can sometimes take 5 to 10 minutes tops. There’s always 3 questions from math, communication arts, science, social studies, 2 questions from fine arts, 1 from year in review, and 1 from current events.
“Every round you know what you’re getting, you know what the order’s going to be, and you know the specific categories,” Wade said.
In categories there are 2 rounds. During the first round, each team gets a chance at a question. If one of the teams miss their question, it then the other team gets the shot to answer it correctly. However, there’s no competition during the first round of categories on the buzzer.
“In the second round, it’s the lightning round where you have to be the first one to buzz in and answer right,” Wade said.
Wade began coaching Categories first, here at Blue Valley in 2007.
“Categories is one that everyone in the district has done for a long time. I got involved in it my second year here when one of the assistant principals came up to me and said, ‘hey, do you want to sponsor this activity?’” he said.
Scholars Bowl is a state sponsored event and Wade was the first to bring it to Blue Valley.
“I saw that it was in the activities manual and I thought it would be a good activity for us to participate in, so that was one where I more initiated it,” he said.
Scholars Bowl was the 6A State Champs and that was their third consecutive state championship. Categories won their second ever regular season championship and first ever tournament championship.
“In Categories, I’ve never had a team win a tournament, so just by that fact alone, this team was easily the best Categories team [I’ve coached],” Wade said.  “And [from] the Scholars Bowl standpoint, the last three years we’ve been really strong but I think in the end this was the strongest Scholars Bowl team I’ve had, too.”
Wade said these activities teach students many skills such as adjustment, adaptation and improvisation.
“I think they teach students, hopefully, just the value of learning information, and how often random bits of trivia can come up in our everyday life,” he said.  “Also I feel like they teach problem solving skills because if you are around when things aren’t going well, you have to learn to adapt, especially in Scholars Bowl. With only sixteen questions, you’ve gotta change your mindset real fast.”
Wade said 3 of his leading scorers are graduating this year which will be a big blow to the team.
“All three of them have been very instrumental in all of our success,” he said.  “We’re [going to] have to find a way to replace their points because they are really good at answering a lot of questions right.”
Wade said anyone who has a dream of someday being on Jeopardy or likes trivia games should think about joining.
“It really is a lot of fun [and] it’s not a lot of high stress. It’s usually 1 to 2 days a week, but it’s pretty rewarding and we usually win trophies,” he said.