For Academic Bowl President Heather Morgan, TU Academic Bowl’s first tournament signals an opportunity for the organization to expand its horizons. “We’ve never hosted anything; we’ve always gone to tournaments but usually those are far away, like this year we went to one in Dallas and one in St. Louis. So … we thought maybe we’d host one and have something local for schools to compete in,” she said.

The tournament was held last Saturday. For those who may be unfamiliar with Academic Bowl (sometimes called Quiz Bowl), Morgan explained the premise of the club: “We compete in trivia competitions just for the fun. There’s a lot of great variety of subjects — a lot of those are academic, a lot is pop culture or sports, but subjects range from chemistry and … science to literature and things like opera or music.”

Typically, she said, team members will focus on a certain subject or two, combining their talents to create a well-rounded and competitive team.

Six teams attended Saturday’s tournament: one from Auburn University, one from Truman State, two from Redlands Community College and two from TU. “This is our first time ever hosting a tournament, so that was a really nice turnout,” Morgan commented.

Academic Bowl made the decision to charge a fee for entry. Half of the proceeds from the entry fees will be put into the team’s TU savings account to be used by future members. The other half will be donated to an academically-focused charity. “We’re probably going to donate that half to Kendall-Whittier,” Morgan clarified. “We’ve been in touch with them and we’re trying to figure out … where the money could best go to benefit them.”

The tournament was structured as a double round robin in order to accommodate the relatively small number of teams and ensure that everyone had a chance to play multiple games. Throughout the tournament, moderators kept individual player statistics and gave prizes such as t-shirts and books to the top scorers at the end of the day.

Redlands Community College (Team A) came in first, followed by TU A, Truman State University, TU B, Redlands Community College B, and Auburn, in that order. Three of the top four individual player scorers were from TU.

If you missed the tournament this weekend, fear not — Academic Bowl has a lot planned in the coming months.

“Mid-April we’re hosting a middle school tournament for middle schoolers from around the state to come and compete, and then that will be their qualifying tournament to go to nationals,” Morgan said. “Right now no one in Oklahoma I guess is hosting a middle school tournament, and so they contacted us about doing that so that way the middle schools here in Oklahoma will have a chance to go to nationals.”

“I’m really excited about that one,” she added with a smile.
In this way, the organization plans to continue its outreach at TU and in Oklahoma as a whole.