Scholars’ bowl faces changes amid coronavirus

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Austin Hanson, Reporter

With Scholars’ Bowl getting up and running just a few weeks ago, students have already seen significant changes this year. Meets have both been held online and in-person, depending on the conditions of the hosting school, and practices have seen changes of its own in order to best suit the social distancing guidelines. The virtual meets, however, seem to sport the largest change, with a lot of players being curious on how it works.

 

The virtual meets so far have actually been very successful. Currently, Scholars’ Bowl competitors have been using an online buzzer website and zoom breakout rooms to answer questions live against another team. In these rooms, moderators read out the questions and pick the first buzzed answer off of the website, unmuting the team where they can then say their answer. This keeps the online meets similar to the in-person meets. Despite this, the meets are a lot more laid back, as a lot of rules and formalities don’t really apply. For example, things like talking in-between pauses of questions, discussing answers with teammates without worrying about the other team hearing, and having no wait times in-between rounds are all now possible with the online meets. This allows for more easygoing rounds for players. So far, only freshmen-sophomore meets have been held online, which gives newer players a chance to ease into the more serious meets that go on later in the season. 

 

Although it’s a big change, virtual meets aren’t exactly the only thing that’s different. Even in-person meets have been affected, as meet organizers have had to make COVID precautions in order to ensure safety of teams and staff. “There have been several changes due to COVID.  Both the size of the tournaments and the number of tournaments are smaller this year. There are no spectators allowed. Several scheduled meets have been cancelled or postponed,” says SES coach, Mr. Sauber. Despite this, organizers have worked very hard to make these meets as safe as possible, and to the approval of the participants.

 

 “At the meets I’ve attended, there have been lots of new safety precautions introduced, but they’ve been followed well, and they don’t affect the way that play happens.” Says Ben Monday. “With regard to health concerns, I think that we’ve done very well.”

 

The SES team hasn’t let these problems get in their way yet though, staying strong even when a few varsity members were put into quarantine. The team had a full varsity line on Tuesday, Dec 1st, and took first place in Ellsworth, showing that a full team can be a great challenge for other schools. So far, the team holds 3 first place finishes, 1 second place finish, and 3 third place finishes. Overall, the season has proved that even with the difficulties of cancelled meets and COVID restrictions, students will ultimately still be having fun doing what they enjoy.