Dr. Jack Knapp is probably the only person who can be in the Hall of Fame on quizmastering alone. Let me say parenthetically that almost everything we take for granted today (a logical question distribution, a logical tournament-type schedule, stop reading when the student stands up, throwing out questions that are misread, etc.) all began with Dr. Knapp. Bible Quiz used to just be another event at AACS and now is an event unto itself that mandates a day early start. That is how different Bible Quiz is today.
Thirty years ago, quizmasters in general were glorified question readers. Often changing the words they said after the question had been started or even finishing questions after someone had jumped. Dr. Knapp took it to an art form. He is so lightning quick at stopping whilst reading a question that students began to invent ways to try to beat him. Thus came the slow jump. While the bell has forever changed the landscape of quizzing, many have said that Dr. Knapp never needed one and from what I saw, that seems correct.
Dr. Knapp got into Quizmastering sideways. He showed up at AACS with a team from Virginia ready to compete. The only problem was that noone had shown up to head the proceedings. Dr. Knapp’s briefcase full of questions was his only qualification. Speaking of questions, noone has ever been able to completely duplicate his style. Israel “Bandela” Henriquez is about the closest there is and he is only a mediocre resemblance. Dr. Knapp feels that 20 state champions should be challenged by the questions and I wouldn’t have it any other way for my first place vote on this very website.
However, Dr. Knapp is more than just the almost perfect quizmaster and excellent question writer, he is a man dedicated to his task and willing to do anything for the students. For years, he stuck with two rooms, so he could see every team that came to AACS in his room at least once. He still comments to coaches every year that he misses that. He really does care about every student who participates. How do I know? Well, because of his graciousness towards me.
This is a man who took time to tell me about his wife’s fear of Space Mountain, his grandchildren’s perfection, and the supremecy of the Old Dominion. And I was the 6th best quizzer on a 10th place team!! He is a man who consoled the legendary West children after the “Greatest Meltdown of All Time.” And noone has ever cared more for students than he. Because he brought this to the table in addition to his other skills, students became encouraged to work harder.
I really don’t think AACS would have grown if not for a person capable of filling all those roles. There are many quizmasters that are good and some are just as good as Dr. Knapp in pure quizmastering ability, but none will ever bring to the table everything he did when AACS Bible Quizzing was just an event that Bob Jones struggled to find workers for.
Use God’s Light, Jack; you’re on the list.